Factors Influencing Raynaud Condition Score Diary Outcomes in Systemic Sclerosis

J Rheumatol. 2019 Oct;46(10):1326-1334. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.180818. Epub 2019 Mar 1.


Objective: Raynaud phenomenon (RP) in systemic sclerosis (SSc) could be influenced by clinical phenotype, environmental factors (e.g., season), and personal factors (e.g., coping strategies and ill-health perceptions). We studied the relative influence of a range of putative factors affecting patient-reported assessment of SSc-RP severity.

Methods: SSc patients were enrolled at UK and US sites. Participants completed the 2-week Raynaud Condition Score (RCS) diary alongside collection of patient demographics, clinical phenotype, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, Scleroderma Health Assessment Questionnaire (SHAQ), and both patient/physician visual analog scale (VAS) assessments for RP, digital ulcer disease, and global disease. Environmental temperature data were obtained at each site. A second RCS diary was completed 6 months after enrollment.

Results: We enrolled 107 patients (baseline questionnaires returned by 94). There were significant associations between RCS diary variables and both catastrophizing and coping strategies. There were significant associations between RCS diary outcomes and both environmental temperature and season of enrollment. Age, disease duration, sex, disease subtype, smoking, and vasodilator use were not associated with RCS diary outcomes. The best-fitting multivariate model identified the patient RP VAS, SHAQ pain VAS, and SHAQ gastrointestinal VAS subscales as the strongest independent predictors of the RCS.

Conclusion: Patient-reported assessment of SSc-RP severity is associated with a number of factors including pain, catastrophizing, and coping strategies. The effects of seasonal variation in environmental temperature on SSc-RP burden has implications for clinical trial design. Treatments targeting SSc-RP pain and the development of behavioral interventions enhancing coping strategies may reduce the burden of SSc-RP.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catastrophization / epidemiology*
  • Cities / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Raynaud Disease / drug therapy
  • Raynaud Disease / epidemiology*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / epidemiology*
  • Seasons
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperature
  • Utah / epidemiology
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Vasodilator Agents