The relationship of sensorimotor and function with activities of daily living and disease specific parametres in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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keskin s., SEZER N., AKTEKİN L.

Journal of health sciences and medicine (Online), vol.4, no.6, pp.784-789, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Objective: To evaluate the level of effect on the sensorimotor functions of the hand in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and investigate the relationship between this level and patients’ daily life activities and disease-specific parameters. Material and Method: This case-control study involved the evaluation of 80 patients with RA and 50 healthy volunteers aged 20-65 years. The coarse and fine grip strength of the patients was evaluated with hand dynamometer and pinch meter. The sensory evaluation of the hand was undertaken using the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test (SWMT). The hand skill level was evaluated with Duru Oz Hand Index (DHI). The daily living activities of the patients were investigated using the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). The Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) was used to evaluate disease activity. Results: The mean DAS28 score of the RA group was at a mild level (DAS 28 <3.2). No statistically significant difference was found between the RA group and the control group in terms of daily life activities (HAQ scores). The grip strength and the hand skill level (DHI) were statistically significantly lower in the RA group compared to the control group. In the sensory examination of the RA group using SWMT, while 83% of the patients were evaluated as normal, 15% were determined to have diminished light touch sensation. However, there was no statistical difference between the RA and control groups in terms of sensory evaluation. Conclusion: As a result of the quantitative evaluations used in our study, the RA group was determined to have impaired fine skills and grip strength. Consistent with the literature, these findings had a negative effect on the daily life activities and function of these patients. In our knowledge there is no study with SMWT in RA patients. In our study, there wasn’t statistical difference between the RA and control groups in terms of sensory evaluation with SMWT. Because of our patients have low disease activity, further studies are needed in patients with higher disease activity for evaluation sensorial functions.