Kevser Gök1, Kemal Erol1, Gizem Cengiz1, Salih Özgöçmen2

1Eru Gevher Nesibe Hospital, Department Of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation, Division Of Rheumatology, Kayseri, Turkey
2Medical Park Gaziosmanpasa Hospital, Department Of Rheumatology, Istanbul, Turkey

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, fatigue, quality of life


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare levels of fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic sclerosis (SSc) and to assess potential influence of fatigue on clinical variables.
Patients and Methods: Age and gender matched adult patients with SSc and RA were consecutively recruited. Patients were examined and evaluated for disease specific and generic outcome measures including disease activity parameters, physical functions, psychological status and health related quality of life (HRQoL) measures. Level of fatigue was assessed by Fatigue Severity Scale and Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue scale. These were interviewed by the same experienced physician who was blind to clinical data.
Results: Patients had similar age, gender, educational and smoking status, as well as functioning and HRQoL. However, patients with RA declared higher levels on VAS-pain (p=0.012), and higher body mass index than patients with SSc (p<0.0001) and lower distances in 6-minute walking test (p=0.002). Levels of fatigue were quite similar between patients with RA and SSc. Levels of fatigue, measured by different scales, were significantly correlated with physical functions and HRQoL measures and psychometric variables in both groups, however the correlation coefficients were relatively higher in patients with RA.
Conclusion: Fatigue is a major problem in patients with RA and SSc. This is the first report comparing these two diseases in terms of fatigue and its correlates. Patients with RA and SSc should be carefully evaluated for fatigue by using valid scales and the impact of fatigue on clinical measures should not be overlooke