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Impact of involvement of individual joint groups on subdimensions of functional ability scales in juvenile idiopathic arthritis


To investigate the influence of disease in individual joint groups on subdimensions of functional ability questionnaires in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).


206 patients who had the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (C-HAQ) and the Juvenile Arthritis Functionality Scale (JAFS) completed simultaneously by a parent and received a detailed joint assessment were included. In each patient, joint involvement (defined as presence of swelling, pain on motion/tenderness and/or restricted motion) was classified in 3 topographic patterns: Pattern 1 (hip, knee, ankle, subtalar and foot joints); Pattern 2 (wrist and hand joints); Pattern 3 (elbow, shoulder, cervical spine and temporomandibular joints). Frequency of reported disability in each instrument subdimension was evaluated for each joint pattern, present either isolatedly or in mixed form.


Among patients with Pattern 1, the JAFS revealed the greatest ability to capture and discriminate functional limitation, whereas impairment in the C-HAQ was more diluted across several subdimensions. Both C-HAQ and JAFS appeared to be less reliable in detecting functional impairment in the hand and wrist (Pattern 2) than in other body areas. Overall, the JAFS revealed a superior ability to discriminate the relative functional impact of impairment in individual joint groups among patients with mixed joint patterns.


In children with JIA, a functional measure focused to assess the function of individual joint groups (the JAFS) may detect with greater precision the functional impact of arthritis in specific body areas than does a standard questionnaire based on the assessment of activities of daily living (the C-HAQ).

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Meiorin, S., Filocamo, G., Palmisani, E. et al. Impact of involvement of individual joint groups on subdimensions of functional ability scales in juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Pediatr Rheumatol 6 (Suppl 1), P116 (2008).

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