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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 09

Int J Environ Res Public Health



The Link between the Demographic and Clinical Factors and Fatigue Symptoms among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients.


Kozłowska K A, Formanowicz D, Bączyk G
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 09; 19(22).
PMID: 36429400.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic disease of connective tissue with periods of exacerbation and remission. Fatigue is excessive strain throughout the body that is disproportionate or unrelated to an activity or lifestyle. Fatigue is an integral part of RA in most patients. The study aimed to assess the level of fatigue in RA patients and establish the relationship between fatigue and demographic and clinical factors. The study group consisted of 128 RA patients according to European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria. The Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue and -Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) vitality scores were used to assess the severity of fatigue symptoms. The analyzed variables were gender, age, disease duration, education, marital status, place of residence, work and residence status, pharmacological treatment, pain, morning stiffness, hemoglobin, C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), compression soreness, Richie Articular Index, and DAS28 disease activity. The examined patients experience chronic fatigue-the mean value on the FACIT-F scale was 24.1 ± 9.1 points and on the SF-36 Vitality score was 14.2 ± 1.8 points. There is a relationship between the level of fatigue and pain, long-lasting morning stiffness, active disease, increased soreness of joints, and low hemoglobin values. When analyzing the symptom of fatigue, each patient should be approached individually, using the existing questionnaires or asking key questions to recognize the situation. The presence of fatigue symptoms should be considered during therapy and patient care by searching for and eliminating additional, intensifying stimuli and increasing its level.