Background Rheumatic diseases are diseases of musculoskeletal tissues that are associated with pain and inflammation. They usually involve other organs and positive auto-antibodies. The severity of rheumatic diseases lies in the fact that they are chronic conditions which sometimes cause permanent disability, loss of man hours and they affect the quality of life of the patients.
Objectives To compare the health- related quality of life between patients with rheumatic diseases and a control group in Cyprus as well as patients with rheumatic diseases abroad.
Methods A hundred and nine patients with rheumatic diseases that visitedthe outpatient department of Nicosia General Hospital (experimental group) and a hundred and four persons who did not suffer from any rheumatic disease, other severe chronic disease, cancer, fracture the last year or acute severe illness (control group), participated in this comparative study. All of them completed the health related quality questionnaire SF-36 (Medical outcomes study Short Form- 36) validated in Greek.
Results The mean physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component summary scores of patients were 36.1 and 44.91 respectively. Moreover, the study showed that all scores were statistical significantlower in patients with rheumatic diseases compared to the control group (p<0.05). All scores were impaired among women unlike men who had no statistically significant relationship between disease and psychological aspect. All scores were impaired in the age group of 41-60 years old. Psychological scores were less impaired in younger ages. In older ages the quality of life is less impaired from the disease.
Conclusions This is the first attempt ever made to estimate the health related quality of life of patients with rheumatic diseases in Cyprus, which increases the importance of the study. The health related quality of life of the control group is definitely better than that of the patients in all aspects. The quality of life associated with rheumatic diseases is impaired in different way between women and men and between different age groups. The results of this study are compatible with other studies. The low quality of life of patients with rheumatic diseases should boost the health and social services in the country to seek more.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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