Grading of joint indices for severity reflects better the burden of joint disease and its impact on child's well-being in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
© Visconti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008
Published: 15 September 2008
Background and aim
The severity of joint disease in JIA can be quantified by counting the number of joints with swelling, tenderness/pain on motion, and restricted motion, and by calculating, through these parameters, the number of active joints (NAJ). Alternatively, a global articular severity score (GASS) can be obtained by grading symptoms in each joint and summing the scores obtained in all joints. Although the former method is currently preferred, it is unclear which method is more advantageous to capture the impact of joint disease on child's health and well-being. We aimed to compare the ability of NAJ and GASS to capture the impact of joint disease on child's health and well-being by assessing their correlation with physician's, parent's and patient's subjective ratings and functional ability assessment.
Thirty-four JIA patients underwent a standardized joint assessment and had both NAJ and GASS calculated. Correlation of NAJ and GASS with physician's, parent's and patient's global rating, parent's and patient's pain rating, and functional ability assessment through the Juvenile Arthritis Functionality Scale (JAFS) was evaluated using Spearman's correlation coefficient.
Spearman's correlations between global joint scores and other JIA outcome parameters.
All correlations were greater for the GASS than for the NAJ, suggesting that the GASS reflects better the burden of joint disease and its impact on child's well-being.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.