Objective: To assess health-related quality of life with Italian SF-36 in patients with uveitis on chronic systemic immunosuppressants.
Methods: Consecutive patients with chronic noninfectious uveitis on systemic immunosuppressive treatment seen at the Ocular Immunology Service, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, were enrolled. Health status was evaluated with the Italian version of the SF-36 questionnaire in 8 dimensions: physical functioning, physical disability, body pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, emotional disability, mental health. Statistical analysis of variance was used to test for differences in SF-36 scores between subgroups of interest (age, sex, educational level, location and laterality of uveitis, systemic associated diseases, visual acuity, systemic treatment, duration of disease).
Results: One hundred Caucasian patients (35 female, 65 male) with a median age of 46.31 years (range 10-76) were examined. Uveitis was bilateral in 88% of patients. Uveitis location was anterior (12%), intermediate (10%), posterior (34%), and panuveitis (44%). The most frequent diagnoses were idiopathic (32%), sarcoidosis (15%), and Behçet disease (15%). The SF-36 physical and mental component summary scores were lower among uveitis patients than those of the general Italian population; the most statistically significant differences found in subgroups were older age, female sex, low visual acuity (<20/40), and long-standing duration of the disease (>6 years).
Conclusions: Italian patients with uveitis on chronic systemic immunosuppressants reported markedly poorer general health status than normal matched population subjects. The quality of life of these patients seems to be significantly related to visual acuity and disease duration.