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Limitations in daily activities are the major determinant of reduced health-related quality of life in patients with hand osteoarthritis
  1. W Y Kwok1,
  2. T P M Vliet Vlieland1,
  3. F R Rosendaal2,
  4. T W J Huizinga1,
  5. M Kloppenburg1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Wing-Yee Kwok, Department of Rheumatology, C1-R, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, the Netherlands; w.y.kwok{at}


Objective To determine the impact of limitations in daily activities and pain on quality of life (QoL) in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) visiting a rheumatologist.

Methods Patients diagnosed by the rheumatologist with primary hand, knee or hip OA were consecutively included from August 2005 to April 2009. QoL was assessed by Short Form-36, with the physical component summary score (PCS), calculated using data from a norm-based population. Self-reported pain and function in patients with hand OA was assessed by the Australian/Canadian OA hand index (AUSCAN) pain (range 0–20) and AUSCAN function (range 0–36). Linear regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between PCS and demographic characteristics, and between PCS and pain and function in patients with OA.

Results Hand OA was diagnosed in 95% of 460 included patients (89% women, mean age 61 years). PCS was lowered in patients with OA. Patients with hand OA reported a considerable amount of pain (mean 9.5 (SD 4.3)) and disability (mean 16.5 (SD 8.6)). AUSCAN function was associated with PCS (adjusted β=−0.3, 95% CI –0.4 to –0.2), but AUSCAN pain was not.

Conclusions Hand OA was the most common OA subtype in secondary care. Health-related QoL is decreased in patients with OA and is associated with limitations in daily activities.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.