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Arch Hellen Med, 39(3), May-June 2023, 344-353


Health-related quality of life of patients with rheumatic diseases in the Southern Aegean region, Greece

N. Rikos,1 M. Flouri,1 E. Pandermaraki,1 E. Smpokos,2 M. Linardakis2
1Department of Nursing, School of Health Science, Hellenic Mediterranean University, Heraklion, Crete
2Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

ΟBJECTIVE To assess the quality of life (QoL) of patients with common rheumatic diseases.

METHOD A cross-sectional study was carried out during September–November 2018 in the Southern Aegean, Greece, collecting data from 465 patients. The SF-36 scale was used, with levels of QoL compared between three groups of patients: (a) Those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) only, (b) those with RA and other rheumatic diseases, and (c) those with another rheumatic disease.

RESULTS The mean age of the respondents was 58.6 ±13.9 years, and 75.9% were females; 64.3% were diagnosed with RA, 18.5% with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 17.2% with spondyloarthritis. All the patients were found to have moderate to low levels of QoL, according to the scores on SF-36, with the highest mean level in "mental health" compared with "general health" (57.0 vs 39.1, p<0.001). A significant difference was found between the scores on the two main components, "mental health" and "physical health" (52.1 vs 41.2, p<0.001). Patients with RA and other rheumatic diseases recorded lower scores on physical functioning, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning and mental health than the other two groups (p<0.05), and in the total "physical health" and "mental health" components (p<0.01). A higher likelihood of low QoL was found in "physical health" for patients with RA and other rheumatic diseases (OR: 1.89, p=0.042) and for low QoL in "physical" and "mental health" in females and patients with increased comorbidity (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS All the health-related QoL components of patients with rheumatic diseases were found to be more impaired in patients with a combination of RA and other rheumatic diseases.

Key words: Morbidity status, Quality assessment, Quality of life, Rheumatic diseases, SF-36.

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