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  1. M. He1,
  2. W. Zhou1,
  3. J. Guo1,
  4. J. Liu1,
  5. C. Dong1,
  6. R. Zhao1,
  7. Z. Gu1
  1. 1Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Department of Rheumatology, Nantong, China


Background: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) usually impaired range of motions (ROMs), especially hand and wrist active ROMs (AROMs), thus influencing their ability to perform daily activities and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). However, little is known about the potential factors of reduced hand and wrist AROMs and their relations to quality of life in Chinese RA patients.

Objectives: To explore the contributing factors of hand and wrist AROMs and their associations with HR-QoL and functional limitation in Chinese RA population.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 108 patients were enrolled from Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University between November 2018 and July 2019. We measured all the participants’ AROMs with different directions of the hand and wrist in both sides, including volar flexion, ulnar deviation, radial deviation and radial deviation of the wrist joint, the first metacarpophalangeal (MCP1) flexion, interphalangeal (IP) flexion, volar abduction, radial abduction and thumb opposition (cm) in the thumb, average flexion, hypertension and abduction of the MCP2-5, average proximal interphalangeal (PIP) 2-5 and distal interphalangeal (DIP) 2-5 flexions, total active range of motion (TAM) of the second to the fifth fingers (TAM2-TAM5). Their sociodemographic, physical, psychological, disease-related data, acute phase reactants, laboratory indicators, drug usage and HR-QoL were examined as well. Statistical analysis used Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation analysis, univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses.

Results: In univariate analyses, we found that living in rural area, longer disease duration, comorbidity, hospitalization, more swollen joints, higher disease activity, pain level, C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), red blood cell count and glucocorticoids usage were associated with most of the decreased hand and wrist AROMs (P ≤ 0.050), while higher education and annual income were related to most of the increased hand and wrist AROMs (P ≤ 0.048). In multivariate analyses, higher disease duration (P ≤ 0.023) and higher disease activity (P ≤ 0.033) were corelated with most of the decreased hand and wrist AROMs. Interestingly, the psychological factor, anxiety, was only positively associated with thumb opposition in both univariate and multivariate analyses (P ≤ 0.001). Additionally, most of the declined hand and wrist AROMs were associated with functional impairment and poor HR-QoL, especially in physical components (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Various factors, especially longer disease duration and higher disease activity, were related to decreased hand and wrist AROMs, and thus causing functional impairment and poor HR-QoL in RA patients. Clinical physicians and medical faculties should pay more attention to disease activity and disease-related symptoms of these patients in order to maintain their activity of daily living (ADL) ability and improve HR-QoL.

References: [1]Rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18002.

[2]Zhang L, Cao H, Zhang Q, Fu T, Yin R, Xia Y, et al. Motion analysis of the wrist joints in Chinese rheumatoid arthritis patients: a cross-sectional study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2018;19(1):270.

Acknowledgements: This work was funded by Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province (Grant/Award number: KYCX19_2071), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant/Award number: 81871278, Science and technology Project of Jiangsu Province (Grant/Award number: BE2018671)

Disclosure of Interests: None declared

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