Quality of Life Research

, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp 297–305 | Cite as

Change and status in quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  • P. Bendtsen
  • J. O. Hörnquist
Research Papers


Current status in quality of life and deterioration retrospectively attributed to the disease by patients with reheumatoid arthritis (RA) were examined. The study group included 169 female and 53 male patients with probable (n=70), definite (n=127) and classical RA (n=25). In a cross-sectional postal survey the participants self-rated their quality of life according to a generic self-assessment package tailored in part for this study. Shortened parallel ratings by significant others were also performed. The impact of RA on quality of life was pervasive. Heaviest intrusion emerged within the physical life sphere and the behavioural and activity domain, followed by the impact on global life satisfaction and habits. Material, psychological and social life domains were less disrupted. In spite of the pervasive discomfort attributed to the illness, quality of life status was mostly rated as being ‘rather good’ to ‘good’. There was a consistent pattern: the better off currently, the less disturbance from the disease perceived. Higher age and longer duration of RA were significantly correlated to a lower status. In addition, individuals still working rated a higher quality of life and less intrusion of the disease. Self-ratings were corroborated by ratings of significant others. While there was an agreement on the level of the negative impact of the disease, the patients rated their current situation more positively than did significant others. The dual assessment of quality of life status and change appears reasonable and informative as regards rheumatoid arthritis.

Key words

Change and status quality of life rheumatoid arthritis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hörnquist JO. Quality of life: Concept and assessment. Scand J Soc Med 1989; 18: 69–79.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fowlie M, Berkeley J. Quality of life—a review of the literature. Fam Pract 1987; 4: 226–234.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Deyo RA, Inui TS, Leininger JylD, Overman S. Measuring functional outcomes in chronic disease. A comparison of traditional scales and a self administered health status questionnaire in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Med Care 1983; 21: 180–192.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bell MJ, Bombardier C, Tugwell P. Measurement of functional status, quality of life, and utility in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 1990; 33: 591–601.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Meenan RF, Anderson JJ, Kazis LE, et al. Outcome assessment in clinical trials. Arthritis Rheum 1984; 27: 1344–1352.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liang MH, Jette AM. Measuring functional ability in chronic arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 1981; 24: 80–86.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mitchell DM, Spitz PW, Young DY, et al. Survival, prognosis, and causes of death in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 1986; 29: 706–714.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ferraz MB, Atra E. Rheumatoid arthritis and the measurement properties of the physical ability dimension of the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (Editorial) Clin Exp Rheumatol 1989; 7: 341–344.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Meenan RF, Pincus T. The status of patient status measures (Editorial). J Rheumatol 1987; 14: 411–414.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Deyo RA, Patrick DL. Barriers to the use of health status measures in clinical investigations, patient care and policy research. Med Care 1989; 27: 254–268.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hanestad BR. Errors of measurement affecting reliability and validity of data acquired from selfassessed quality of life. Scand J Caring Sci 1990; 4: 29–34.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moum T. Yea-saying and mood-reported quality of life. Soc Indicat Res 1988; 20: 117–139.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Isacson J, Allander E, Broström LÅ. A seventeen-year follow-up of a population survey of rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1987; 16: 145–152.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    VanDam FSAM, Somers R, vanBeek-Couzijn AL. Quality of life: Some theoretical issues. J Clin Pharmacol 1981; 21: 166–168.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bendtsen P, Bjurulf P, Trell E, et al. Cross-sectional assessment and subgroup comparison of functional disability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a Swedish health care district. Submitted.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bijlsma JWJ, Huiskes CJAE, Kraaimaat FW, et al. Relation between patients' own health assessment and clinical and laboratory findings in rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol 1991; 18: 650–653.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bendtsen P, Bjurulf P, Trell E, et al. Treatment and care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a Swedish health care district. Submitted.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    American Rheumatism Association. Diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis 1958 revision. Ann Rheum Dis 1959; 18: 49–53.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hörnquist JO, Wikby A, Andersson PO, Dufva AM. Insulin-pen treatment, quality of life and metabolic control: retrospective intra-group evaluations. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1990; 10: 221–230.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hanestad BR, Hörnquist JO, Albrektsen G. Self-assessed quality of life and metabolic control in persons with insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). Scand J Soc Med 1991; 19: 57–65.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Åkerlind I, Hörnquist JO, Hansson B. Loneliness correlates in advanced alcohol abusers. Social factors and needs. Scand J Soc Med 1987; 15: 175–183.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hörnquist JO, Elton M. A prospective longitudinal study of abusers of alcohol granted disability pension. Scand J Soc Med 1983; 23: 1171–1195.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hörnquist JO, Hansson B, Larsson J. Severity of disease and quality of life. A comparison between malignant and non-malignant patients. Qual Life Res 1992; 1: 135–141.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hörnquist JO. The concept of quality of life. Scand J Soc Med 1982; 10: 57–61.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hörnquist JO, Wikby A, Stenström U, Andersson PO. Quality of life: status and change (QLsc). Reliability, validity and sensitivity of a generic assessment tailored for diabetic patients.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Norusis MJ. SPSS/PC for the IBM PC/XT/AT. SPSS Inc, New York, 1986.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sullivan M, Ahlmén M, Archenholtz B, Svensson G. Measuring health in rheumatic disorders by means of a Swedish version of the Sickness Impact Profile. Scand J Rheumatol 1986; 15: 193–200.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ahlmén M. Overall health status in women with rheumatoid arthritis. A comparison between patients and a population. Effects and outcome predictors of multidisciplinary team outpatients care. Dissertation. University of Gothenburg 1990; 98 pp.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Callahan LF, Pincus T. Formal educational level as a significant marker of clinical status in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 1988; 31: 1346–1357.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Carter WB, Bobbitt RA, Bergner M, Gilson BS. Validation of an interval scaling: The Sickness Inpact Profile. Health Serv Res 1976; 11: 516–528.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Bendtsen
    • 1
  • J. O. Hörnquist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of LinköpingLinköpingSweden

Personalised recommendations