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JOURNAL NAME: Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, Vol.9 No.2, May 31, 2019
ABSTRACT: Objectives: To evaluate the effect of Juvenile Idiopathic Rheumatoid Ar-thritis (JIA) on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in Saudi children. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to evaluate the HRQOL of children aged ≤ 18 years who had JIA using the childhood health assessment questionnaire modified for Arab children (CHAQ-MAC). Such questionnaire investigates 34 activities of daily life (ADL) classified into 8 life domains. Children or their parents were invited for face-to-face interview, and a phone interview was done for patients who missed their appointments during the period between February and July 2017. A statistical model was used to calculate a total CHAQ.MAC score (range = 0 - 33; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.966); with higher values indicating poorer HRQOL. Results: Of a total of 44 children (male ratio = 0.63; mean ± SD age = 9.95 ± 5.44), Systemic-onset JIA was the most frequent type (27.3%), followed by polyarticular (15.9%) and oligoarticular (13.6%). Pain was reported among 43.2% (frequently in the knee, in 27.3%) whereas morning stiffness was reported in 20.5%. The mean CHAQ.MAC score = 2.89 (75th centile = 3.00). With respect of ADLs, up to 22.7% of the children complained of difficulty; and 31.8% reported a difficulty in at least one of the 34 investigated ADLs. With respect of the life domain, children reported difficulties for activities (27.3%), dressing & grooming and hygiene (13.6%), and eating (6.82%). According to the life domain, 4.5% to 13.6% of the children needed help to execute the related ADLs and up to 9.1% used aids or devices. Poor HRQOL was associated with articular pain (p = 0.003) and specific medication (p = 0.043). Con-clusion: Children with arthralgia and those on specific treatment are at higher risk of impaired QOL, which emphasizes the need for systematic screening for treatment adverse effects and joint pain and implementation of efficient management to improve HRQOL.