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Impact of rheumatoid arthritis on the quality of life and its relation to disease activity



Quality of life (QOL) is a multidimensional concept that is used to describe the individuals’ perceptions, satisfaction, and evaluation of different areas of their own lives, such as physical health and functioning, psychological and emotional well-being, social roles, and relationships. Few studies have addressed the effect of rheumatoid disease on the QOL in the Egyptian community.


Functional disability based on health assessment questionnaire disability index was significantly increased with the increase in disease activity based on disease activity score-28, where all patients on remission and 56% of those with low disease activity had mild functional disability. Approximately 89% of patients with low disease activity had mild anxiety based on Hamilton anxiety scale, and the majority (75%) of those patients with moderate disease activity and 83.3% of patients on remission had mild anxiety. The majority (85.7%) of those with high disease activity were depressed based on Zung self-rating depression score. Disease activity score-28 score had a positive significant correlation with health assessment questionnaire disability index (P=0.01, r=0.40), Hamilton anxiety scale-A (P=0.01, r=0.46), Zung score (P=0.01, r=0.46), and rheumatoid arthritis QOL (r=0.70, P=0.00), and negative correlation with female sexual index (r=-0.80, P=0.00), all domains of SF-36, and all five domains of WHOQOL.


This study confirms that rheumatoid arthritis causes impairment of all aspects of QOL (limitation of physical function, physical disability, and pain), mental health disorders (anxiety and depression), and social, environmental, and also sexual dysfunction.


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Correspondence to Samar H. Goma.

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Goma, S.H., Razek, M.R.A. & Abdelbary, N.M. Impact of rheumatoid arthritis on the quality of life and its relation to disease activity. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 46, 304–312 (2019).

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  • disease activity score
  • quality of life
  • rheumatoid arthritis