Table 2

Synthesis of results for studies that estimate the correlation between joint damage and functional disability cross-sectionally at different time points during the follow-up (type B comparison)

CitationVariables correlatedType of statistical analysisNo of patients for correlation at last time point (% baseline)Correlation scorep ValueAdjustments for confounders
Univariate analysis
Eberhardt 199045Larsen – HAQSpearman's correlation89 (93.7%)Larsen – HAQ: 0.19 (2 years)NS (HAQ)No
SOFILarsen – SOFI : 0.39 (2 years)<0.001* (SOFI)
Capell 199141SharpSpearman's correlation56 (45.5%)Sharp: 0.399 (base)NSNo
Sharp: 0.5 (10 years)<0.005*
Larsen – Lee functional indexLarsen: 0.57 (base)0.05*
Larsen: 0.54 (10 years)0.005*
Hassell 199348Larsen – VASMann–Whitney U test for differences between bad and good outcome66 (52%)Not relevant<0.01*No
Kaarela 199349LarsenSpearman's correlation85 (82.5%)0.68 (8 years)<0.001*No
Eberhardt 199552Modified Larsen (Patterson) SOFISpearman's correlation63 (94.0%)Larsen-HAQ: 0.008 (base)>0.05No
Larsen-HAQ: 0.27 (5 years)<0.05*
Larsen-SOFI: 0.44 (5 years)<0.001*
Fex 199653Larsen (and Dale)Spearman's correlation84 (74.3%)0.11 (base)NSNo
0.006 (6 years)NS
Mottonen 199855LarsenSpearman's correlation130 (91.5%)-0.03 (base)>0.05No
0.51 (6 years)<0.05*
Jantti 199935LarsenSpearman's correlation66 (64.1%)0.46 (20 years)<0.05*No
Clarke 200143**LarsenSpearman's correlation130 (100%)0.15 (3.8 year)>0.05No
0.23 (7.8 year)>0.05
0.42 (12.5 year)<0.05*
0.54 (17.5 year)<0.05*
0.42 (22.5 year)<0.05*
Gordon 200144**LarsenSpearman's correlation81 (28.0%)0.465 (base)0.001*No
0.31 (10 year)0.004*
Benton 200466Erosion scoreSpearman's correlation34 (81%)0.31 (base)<0.001*No
0.48 (6 year)0.04*
Puolakka 200671LarsenChi-squared test for differences among groups156 (96.3%)Not relevant0.045*No
Sharp –productivity loss
Courvoisier 200874TTSPearson's correlation112 (58.6%)TSS: 0.04 (base)>0.05No
TSS: 0.18 (3 years)>0.05
TSS: 0.14 (5 years)<0.05*
TSS: 0.16 (10 years)>0.05
Erosion score: 0.01 (base)>0.05
Erosion score: 0.08 (3 years)>0.05
Erosion score JSNErosion score: 0.16 (5 years)>0.05
Erosion score: 0.14 (10 years)>0.05
JSN: 0.06 (base)>0.05
JSN: 0.24 (3 years)>0.05
JSN: 0.10 (5 years)<0.05*
JSN: 0.17 (10 years)>0.05
Multivariate analysis
Drossaers-Bakker 199936§SharpSpearman's correlation112 (84.8%)Sharp: 0.22 (base)< 0.05*No
Sharp: 0.29 (3 years)< 0.001*
Sharp: 0.45 (6 years)< 0.001*
LarsenLinear regression modelSharp: 0.57 (12 years)< 0.001*
Larsen: 0.59 (12 years)< 0.001*
Not relevant< 0.05*
Drossaers-Bakker 200057§SharpSpearman's correlation105 (79.5%)Sharp: 0.58 (12 years)< 0.001*No
LarsenStepwise multivariate analysisLarsen: 0.6 (12 years)< 0.001*
Not relevant< 0.05*
Scott 200012LarsenSpearman's correlation33 (100%)0.10 to 0.30 (0–42 months)> 0.05Yes
Analysis of factors influencing HAQ0.52 (5 years)< 0.05*
Not relevant0.013*
Welsing 200160Modified SharpPearson's correlation39 (10.3%)0.15 (base)>0.05Yes
0.06 (3 years)>0.05
Multiple linear regression0.75 (6 years)<0.05*
0.57 (9 years)<0.05*
Not relevant<0.05*
Plant 200540Modified LarsenSpearman's correlation366 (86.9%)−0.06 (base)>0.05Yes
0.29 (5 years)<0.01*
Multiple regression analysisNot relevant<0.001*
Odegard 200670§Sharp/vdHMarginal model by GEE149 (62.6%)Not relevant0.02*Yes
  • In the column named ‘variables correlated’ the measure of damage is always reported while the measure of disability is reported only when different from HAQ (in italics).

  • In the column named ‘correlation score’ the year in brackets represents the time when each correlation between damage and disability was measured.

  • * Statistical significant correlation at a p<0.05.

  • In this study only patients who provided radiographic scores were included and it is not clear whether some patients were lost to follow-up;

  • <1year disease duration;

  • § 1–3 years disease duration;

  • 3–6 years disease duration;

  • ** >6 years disease duration;

  • see table 2 for details on disease duration.

  • GEE, generalised estimating equations; HAQ, health assessment questionnaire; JSN, joint space narrowing; SOFI, signals of functional improvement; TSS, total sharp score; vdH, van der Heide.