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Mathew AJ, Antony J, Eremenco S, Paul BV, Jayakumar B, Philip J
Correspondence: Dr Ashish Jacob Mathew, email@example.com
Introduction Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQL) has been gaining much importance in the care of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was aimed at assessing the HRQL of patients with RA in South India.
Methods HRQL of consenting RA patients, on disease-modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs (DMARDs) and attending a rheumatology clinic, was assessed using a self-filled Malayalam version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) version 4 questionnaire.
Results 50 patients were assessed out of 58 responses. The mean duration of the disease was 7.29 years. 46 patients (79.3 percent) had tried complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). The HRQL score in patients who were put on DMARDs within six months of symptoms was significantly higher (p-value is equal to 0.008).
Conclusion HRQL in patients treated early by DMARDs is significantly higher in this region, where a good proportion of patients seek the CAM for treatment of RA.
Keywords: complementary medicine, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, quality of life, rheumatoid arthritis
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(8): 800-803