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The importance of lower extremity involvement type on exercise performances, function, and quality of life in peripheral predominant forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis

, Özgür Zeliha Karaahmet, Ajda Bal Hastürk, Özge Başaran, Banu Çelikel Acar, Halise Hande Gezer, Aytül Çakcı
Published: 26 June 2021

Abstract: Background Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can cause reduced exercise capacity, deterioration in functional activities, and poor health-related quality of life. This study aims to objectively reveal lower extremity involvement in the peripheral predominant forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis through qualitative evaluations and to determine the effects of these involvements on exercise, function, and quality of life. Methods Thirty-two patients with a history of peripheral arthritis and aged between 7 and 16 years participated in the study. Demographics, JIA subtype, disease duration, arthritis and deformities of the lower extremity, disease activity score, 6-min walk test (6MWT), cycling exercise test (CYC-E), childhood health assessment questionnaire (CHAQ), and pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQoL) scores were recorded. In case of clinical suspicion of arthritis, an ultrasonographic examination was performed for a definitive diagnosis. Regression analyses were performed to explore the most associated lower extremity involvement and patient characteristics for each of the dependent variables including 6MWT, CYC-E, CHAQ, and PedsQoL. Results Of the total number of patients, with a mean age of 12.91 (SD 2.37) years, 28.1% had knee arthritis, 15.6% foot arthritis, 12.5% hip arthritis, and 37.5% lower extremity deformity. The parameters that were most associated with CHAQ and PedsQoL were hip and knee arthritis, whereas CYC-E was found to be most associated with knee arthritis and height, and 6MWT was found to be most associated with hip arthritis, knee arthritis, and demographic characteristics. Conclusion This study emphasizes the importance of hip and knee arthritis, which are among the determinants of walking endurance, function, and quality of life; and knee arthritis, which is among the determinants of cycling performance in JIA with lower extremity involvement.
Keywords: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis / Lower extremity / Deformity / Exercise / Function / Quality of life / Arthritis / Cycling / 6MWT

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