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Journal article
Authors Caroline Feldthusen
Anna Grimby-Ekman
Helena Forsblad d'Elia
Lennart T. H. Jacobsson
Kaisa Mannerkorpi
Published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume 48
Issue 5
Pages 469-476
ISSN 1650-1977
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Metrics
Pages 469-476
Language en
Keywords fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, longitudinal study, outcome assessment, physical-activity, disease-activity, pain, fibromyalgia, sleep, inflammation, association, reliability, sensitivity, perspective, Rehabilitation, Sport Sciences
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


Objective: To investigate the impact of disease-related aspects on long-term variations in fatigue in persons with rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Sixty-five persons with rheumatoid arthritis, age range 20-65 years, were invited to a clinical examination at 4 time-points during the 4 seasons. Outcome measures were: general fatigue rated on visual analogue scale (0-100) and aspects of fatigue assessed by the Bristol Rheumatoid Arthritis Fatigue Multidimensional Questionnaire. Diseaserelated variables were: disease activity (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), pain threshold (pressure algometer), physical capacity (six-minute walk test), pain (visual analogue scale (0-100)), depressive mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, depression subscale), personal factors (age, sex, body mass index) and season. Multivariable regression analysis, linear mixed effects models were applied. Results: The strongest explanatory factors for all fatigue outcomes, when recorded at the same time-point as fatigue, were pain threshold and depressive mood. Self-reported pain was an explanatory factor for physical aspects of fatigue and body mass index contributed to explaining the consequences of fatigue on everyday living. For predicting later fatigue pain threshold and depressive mood were the strongest predictors. Conclusion: Pain threshold and depressive mood were the most important factors for fatigue in persons with rheumatoid arthritis.

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