Cieza, Alarcos and Stucki, Gerold
Understanding functioning, disability, and health in rheumatoid arthritis : the basis for rehabilitation care
Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 17, (2), . (PMID:15711233).
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Purpose of review: To examine the recent literature on rheumatoid arthritis in relation to functioning and disability, highlighting it from the perspective of the biopsychosocial model of functioning, disability, and health of the World Health Organization. This review focuses on longitudinal studies because they clarify associations found in cross-sectional studies and are useful in shedding light on the mechanisms that explain functioning and disability.
Recent findings: The studies that contribute best to understanding of functioning and disability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis are studies that (1) incorporate a comprehensive model to integrate different variables of interest, (2) use a longitudinal design to examine the potential casual relationships among the variables, and (3) use hierarchical regression analyses or path analysis to study the relation among variables.
Summary: It is time to rethink and redefine what should be measured when addressing functioning and disability of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The use of a universally agreed framework and classification, such as the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, a universally agreed-on comprehensive list of variables potentially relevant to functioning and disability in rheumatoid arthritis, and a greater focus on functioning-oriented versus disability-oriented perspectives constitute a solid foundation for such a rethinking process.
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