Results from a recent study presented during the European League Against Rheumatism Annual European Congress of Rheumatology revealed that Quantifiable fatigue scores can be gathered with the use of a brief patient questionnaire without the need for the physician to do additional work and with a minimal intrusion into the clinical work flow. Results also showed that fatigue can be accurately distinguished among various diseases.
Researchers used the multidimensional health assessment questionnaire (MDHAQ) to quantify fatigue in a total of 613 patients. From these, 173 patients had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 146 patients had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 199 patients had osteoarthritis (OA), and 94 patients had fibromyalgia (FM).
Subjects were assessed with the questionnaire involving demographic data, questions on fatigue, three 0 to 10 VAS for pain, 10 daily living activities, a 60-symptom checklist, and patient’s global estimate.
The RAPID 3 form was used to score the MDHAQ replies using a sum of three scores for pain, function and patient global estimate. Data was computed from the median scores for fatigue in all the four groups of patients. Researchers then compared the groups using the statistical test of Kruskall-Wallis one-way analysis of variance. Statistical analysis was also used to calculate the associations between fatigue and other MDHAQ scores.
The results showed that patients with a diagnosis of FM had higher fatigue scores in comparison to the other groups of patients. Scores of the RAPID 3 form, for patient global estimate, function, symptoms and other scores were different between patients with FM and patients suffering from the other three conditions.
Data demonstrated there was a correlation between fatigue scores, patient global estimate function and pain in all groups of patients, albeit in lower levels in those suffering with OA and FM, indicating the association observed in patients with RA and SLE may be associated with inflammation.