Background The Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 (SF-36) has been endorsed as a valid instrument for measurement of health related quality of life (HRQoL) in gout at the International Consensus Conference on Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT 9) 
Objectives To compare HRQoL in patients with chronic gout and matched patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as measured with the SF-36 version 2 (SF-36v2).
Methods Consecutive patients with crystal deposition proven gout (n=102) or with RA (n=619) visiting the outpatient rheumatology clinic of the hospital in Enschede, the Netherlands completed the SF-36v2. Gout patients were matched to patients with RA on sex, age (± 5 years) and disease duration (±5 years). Ninety-three patients with gout could be successfully matched to 93 patients with RA.
SF-36v2 measures eight aspects of HRQoL with a total of 36 items (Physical Functioning (PF), Role problems as a result of physical health (RP), Bodily Pain (BP), General health (GH), Vitality (VT), Social Functioning (SF), Mental Health (MH) and Role problems as a result of emotional problems (RE)), as well as two summary scores for physical health (Physical Component Summary, PCS) and mental health (Mental Component Summary, MCS). Differences in the eight aspects and two summary scores of HRQoL between patients with gout and RA were tested by t-tests.
Results In both disease groups mean age was 59 (± 12) years, mean disease duration was 7 (±9) years and 86% of patients were male. HRQoL scores in matched groups of patients with gout and RA were highly similar (see table). Mean differences between patients with gout and RA were small and non-significant for all scales and both summary scores.
Conclusions As measured with SF36, the impact of chronic gout is highly similar to the impact of RA on health related quality of life.
Grainger R, Taylor JW, Dalbeth N et al. Progress in Measurement Instruments for Acute and Chronic Gout Studies. J Rheumatol 2009; 36:2346–55
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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