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Influence of Childhood Scleroderma on Physical Function and Quality of Life

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Helen Foster


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Objective. There have been few studies of quality of life in childhood scleroderma and these focused predominantly on self-perception and the influence of skin lesions. Our cross-sectional study aimed to describe the influence of childhood scleroderma on physical function and quality of life in relation to clinical and demographic measures. Methods. Children with either localized scleroderma or systemic sclerosis (SSc) attending pediatric rheumatology clinics, together with their parents or guardians, were asked to complete a set of 4 validated measures. Clinical and demographic data were provided by consultant pediatric rheumatologists. Results. In total, 28 children and their parents/guardians participated in the study (68% female, median age 13 yrs; 86% localized scleroderma, 14% SSc). The median Child Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) score was 0.1 (range 0-3, 0 indicating no impairment), the median Child Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) score was 5 (range 0-30, 0 indicating no impairment), and the median Child Quality of Life Questionnaire (CQOL) function score was 26 (range 0-105, 0 indicating no impairment). Family activity, measured by the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-PF50), was also moderately impaired by scleroderma, with a median score of 83 (0-100, 100 indicating no impairment). Conclusion. Scleroderma had only a moderate effect on quality of life and physical function as measured by the 4 validated instruments. Although a small number of children reported greater impairment, this is an encouraging finding, given its potential disfiguring and debilitating effects. (First Release Nov 1 2010; J Rheumatol 2011;38:167-73; doi:10.3899/jrheum.100447)

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baildam EM, Ennis H, Foster HE, Shaw L, Chieng ASE, Kelly J, Herrick AL, Richards HL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Rheumatology

Year: 2011

Volume: 38

Issue: 1

Pages: 167-173

Print publication date: 01/11/2010

ISSN (print): 0315-162X

ISSN (electronic): 1499-2752

Publisher: Journal of Rheumatology Publishing Co. Ltd.


DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.100447


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