Objectives: To present the outcome of patients with idiopathic inflammatory myositis, focusing on functional ability and quality of life.
Methods: Analysis was performed using data from 105 adult patients with definitive polymyositis, dermatomyositis or overlap myositis, who were followed up at a single centre. The diagnosis was made between 1979 and 2000 based on Bohan and Peter's criteria. Functional ability was assessed after a minimum follow-up of 3 yr with the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQDI) and quality of life was measured with the Short Form 36-item questionnaire (SF-36).
Results: Fifteen patients in our cohort died and 87 participated in the evaluation of functional outcome. Functional ability after a median follow-up of 107.1 months (range 36.4-273.3) was heterogeneous. The median HAQDI score was 0.875 (range 0-2.875). Polyphasic or chronic-progressive disease course, osteoporosis and long-term follow-up were predictive of higher HAQDI scores. In terms of quality of life, significant differences from population norms were shown in all domains of the SF-36. There were no significant differences in the SF-36 scores among the patients according to clinicopathological subset or disease course.
Conclusions: Although the mortality of our cohort was favourable, myositis continues to have a great impact on life in the medium and long term. The present work indicates that myositis patients have a significantly poorer quality of life than the normal population, but there was no difference among the patients according to clinicopathological subsets.