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Subjective and Objective Measures of Dryness Symptoms in Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome – Capturing the discrepancy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter GallagherORCiD, Sheryl Mitchell, Dr Bridget Griffiths, Vicki Hindmarsh, Ben Hargreaves, Dr Steven Young-Min, Professor Fai NgORCiD, Dr Lucy Robinson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: There is a weak relationship between subjective symptoms and objective markers of disease activity in individuals with Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome (PSS). This presents a significant barrier to developing treatments if modifying disease markers does not translate into reduced perception of symptoms. Little is known about the reasons for this discrepancy. Objectives: To develop a novel method for capturing the discrepancy between objective tests and subjective dryness symptoms (a ‘Sensitivity’ scale) and to explore predictors of dryness Sensitivity. Methods: Archive data from the UK Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome Registry (n=681) was used. Patients were classified on a scale from -5 (stoical) to +5 (sensitive) depending on the degree of discrepancy between their objective and subjective symptoms classes. Sensitivity scores were correlated with demographic variables, disease-related factors and symptoms of pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Results: Patients were on average relatively stoical for both dryness symptoms (ocular mean±s.d. -0.42±2.2, oral mean±s.d. -1.24±1.6). Twenty-seven percent of patients were classified ‘sensitive’ to ocular dryness in contrast to 9% for oral dryness. Hierarchical regression analyses identified the strongest predictor of ocular dryness was self-reported pain and the strongest predictor of oral dryness was selfreported fatigue.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bezzina OM, Gallagher P, Mitchell S, Bowman SJ, Griffiths B, Hindmarsh V, Hargreaves B, Price EJ, Pease CT, Emery P, Lanyon P, Bombardieri M, Sutcliffe N, Pitzalis C, Hunter J, Gupta M, McLaren J, Cooper AM, Regan M, Giles IP, Isenberg DA, Vadivelu S, Coady D, Dasgupta B, McHugh NJ, Young-Min SA, Moots RJ, Gendi N, Akil M, MacKay K, Ng WF, Robinson LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Arthritis Care & Research

Year: 2017

Volume: 69

Issue: 11

Pages: 1714-1723

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 19/12/2016

Acceptance date: 06/12/2016

Date deposited: 15/02/2017

ISSN (print): 2151-464X

ISSN (electronic): 2151-4658

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/acr.23165


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