Determinants of health status in fibromyalgia: a comparative study with SLE (Lupus)

OBJECTIVE: To compare perceived health status in women with fibromyalgia (FM) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) using the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Short Form Health Survey (SF-36); and to identify determinants of physical and mental health in each patient group.

METHODS: A cross sectional study of 46 women with FM (mean age 48.13 yrs, SD 9.40) and 59 women with SLE (mean age 42.36 yrs, SD 11.31). Patients with FM were recruited from a rheumatology clinic and a rheumatology practice, while patients with SLE were recruited from 4 rheumatology clinics. Clinical examination determined disease activity (by Systemic Lupus Activity Measure) in SLE and a tender point count was used for FM. Patients completed questionnaires assessing health status (SF-36), stress (Hassles), social support (Social Support Questionnaire 6), and coping (Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations).

RESULTS: Patients with FM reported more impairment on the following SF-36 subscales: physical function (p 0.05). In the SLE group, better physical health was associated with younger age, less disease activity, and lower hassles (R2 = 0.37, p 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: Health related quality of life (HRQL) is impaired among women with FM and SLE, with FM patients reporting greater impairment along several dimensions. Enhancing the HRQL of patients with FM and SLE requires targeting specific modifiable psychosocial factors.

Da Costa D, Dobkin PL, Fitzcharles MA, Fortin PR, Beaulieu A, Zummer

M, Senecal JL, Goulet JR, Rich E, Choquette D, Clarke AE

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