INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between impairment and disability in individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
METHODS: One hundred individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis (86 women, 14 men; mean age=49.93±11.38 years; range: 20 to 65 years) were included in the study. Impairment was evaluated by use of Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28). Disability was assessed by Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire (DASH), Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (MHQS) and Duruoz Hand Index (DHI). The presence of relationship between impairment and these disability scales was evaluated by Spearman correlation analysis.
RESULTS: DAS28 score was moderately and highly correlated with DASH, MHQS-total and other subscales and DHI scores (DASH; r=0.655, MHQS-total and other subscales; r=-0.708 to r=-0.570, DHI r=0.619) while DAS28 score was poorly correlated with MHQS-aesthetics subscale score (r=-0.323).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: In our study, it was concluded that impairment was an important indicator of disability by determined upper extremity scales in individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since upper extremity involvement is widespread in individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis, upper extremity disability scales could use to determine disability.