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  1. Jos&etilde; Antonio P. da Silva
  1. Centro Hospitalar e Universitãrio de Coimbra, Rheumatology, Coimbra, Portugal


Background: Fatigue is a frequent and important symptom in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and it is associated with significantly reduced health-related quality of life, thus contributing to the impact of disease upon patients' lives.

Objectives: To collect, summarise and interpret available evidence on the nature of fatigue and the best ways to assess it in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Methods: A systematic literature research was performed in trying to (i) to synthesize the role of fatigue in the global impact of rheumatoid arthritis; (ii) describe validated instruments and their psychometric properties as measures of fatigue among patients with RA; and finally (iii) propose a clinically meaningful, valid and feasible process to measure fatigue in clinical practice.

Results: Fatigue has a major relevance in the overall burden of disease in RA.

Several instruments have been validated o measure it, but no consensus has yet been reached to recommend a "gold-standard".

Conclusion: Although fatigue is recognized by the rheumatology community as an important consequence of RA and a major gap in its current management of the disease, it has not been easy to measure and grasp. The problem seems to reside in the multidimensional causality and subjetive nature of this phenomenon, which may warrant dedicated measures and interventions.

Disclosure of Interests: None declared

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