Objective: To investigate the proxy-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and its determinants in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Methods: In this multinational, multicenter, cross-sectional study, HRQOL of patients with JIA was assessed through the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) and was compared with that of healthy children of similar age from the same geographic area. Potential determinants of HRQOL included demographic data, physician's and parent's global assessments, measures of joint inflammation, Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Results: A total of 6,639 participants (3,324 with JIA and 3,315 healthy) were enrolled from 32 countries. The mean +/- SD physical and psychosocial summary scores of the CHQ were significantly lower in patients with JIA than in healthy children (physical: 44.5 +/- 10.6 versus 54.6 +/- 4.0, P < 0.0001; psychosocial: 47.6 +/- 8.7 versus 51.9 +/- 7.5, P < 0.0001), with the physical well-being domain being most impaired. Patients with persistent oligoarthritis had better HRQOL compared with other subtypes, whereas HRQOL was similar across patients with systemic arthritis, polyarthritis, and extended oligoarthritis. A CHAQ score >1 and a pain intensity rating >3.4 cm on a 10-cm visual analog scale were the strongest determinants of poorer HRQOL in the physical and psychosocial domains, respectively.
Conclusion: We found that patients with JIA have a significant impairment of their HRQOL compared with healthy peers, particularly in the physical domain. Physical well-being was mostly affected by the level of functional impairment, whereas the intensity of pain had the greatest influence on psychosocial health.