Objectives: The Score for the Assessment and Quantification of Chronic Rheumatoid Affections of the Hands (SACRAH) is a self-administered questionnaire assessing functional status, stiffness and pain in patients suffering from hand osteoarthritis (HOA) as well as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of the hand. It consists of 23 questions in three domains, to be answered on 100 mm visual analogue scales (VAS). Our goal was to shorten the original SACRAH by elimination of redundant questions in order to make it easier to use for patients and physicians.
Methods: Following an arbitrary procedure employing high intervariable correlations, redundant questions were eventually eliminated. To validate the shortened version, 60 patients with HOA, recruited at four rheumatological centres in Austria, completed the original SACRAH as well as the shortened version. Fifty-five patients suffering from RA of the hands treated at the Second Department of Medicine, Humanis Klinikum Stockerau, also completed both questionnaires.
Results: A total of 11 questions (nine from the function domain and two from the pain domain) were eliminated, leading to the modified score consisting of 12 questions. Comparing the results of SACRAH and M-SACRAH, as well as the domain scores in individual patients, correlation coefficients were r = 0.978 for HOA patients (P < 0.0001) and r = 0.986 for RA patients (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: M-SACRAH, the shortened and simplified version of the original SACRAH questionnaire, proved to be as reliable and as representative as SACRAH for hand status in individual HOA and RA patients.