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Juvenile-onset inflammatory arthritis: a study of adolescents' beliefs about underlying cause

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Helen Foster


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Objective. Patients' beliefs regarding the cause of illness may influence treatment adherence and long-term outcome. Little is known of adolescents' beliefs regarding the cause of JIA. This study aims to identify adolescents' beliefs about the underlying cause of their arthritis at first presentation to the paediatric rheumatology department. Methods. One hundred and twenty-two adolescents aged >= 11 years participating in the larger prospective Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study, an inception cohort of childhood-onset inflammatory arthritis, were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding underlying beliefs about their arthritis. The top-listed causes were identified, and associations between beliefs and characteristics of the adolescents and their arthritis were compared across the different causal beliefs. Results. The most common causal beliefs were genetics (27.1%), the immune system (21.3%), accident or injury (15.6%) and infection (13.1%). Association between causal beliefs and gender, disease duration, International League Against Rheumatism subtype and source of referral was observed, although small numbers prevented robust statistical comparisons. Conclusion. This first report on adolescents' beliefs about the cause of their juvenile arthritis found the most common causal beliefs to be related to genes or the immune system. Brief assessments of adolescents' beliefs at presentation will enable providers to modify or adapt potentially unhelpful beliefs and provide age-appropriate information regarding arthritis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cordingley L, Vracas T, Baildam E, Chieng A, Davidson J, Foster HE, Gardner-Medwin J, Wedderburn LR, Thomson W, Hyrich KL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Rheumatology

Year: 2012

Volume: 51

Issue: 12

Pages: 2239-2245

Print publication date: 01/09/2012

ISSN (print): 1462-0324

ISSN (electronic): 1462-0332

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kes216


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Funder referenceFunder name
ARUK 17552Arthritis Research UK