Fatigue and its Association with Social Participation, Functioning and Quality of Life in Systemic Sclerosis

Susan L. Murphy ScD* (Corresponding Author), Anna L. Kratz, Daniel Whibley, Janet L Poole, Dinesh Khanna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: Fatigue is consistently ranked as one of the most problematic symptoms in systemic sclerosis (SSc), but the impact of fatigue on daily life is not well-characterized. The purpose of this study was to examine fatigue's contribution to deficits in social participation, functioning, and quality of life.

Methods: Baseline data from a sample undertaking a clinical trial were utilized (N = 267). Fatigue, pain interference, depressive symptoms, physical function, and social participation were assessed by PROMIS measures. Hierarchical linear regressions were performed to determine fatigue's unique contribution to social participation, physical function, and quality of life, above and beyond the effects of demographic and clinical variables, pain interference, and depressive symptoms.

Results: The sample was predominantly female (91%), with average age 53.7 years, average disease duration of 9 years, and mean fatigue T-score of 58.7. Of all outcomes, fatigue was most strongly associated with deficits in social participation, explaining 48% of the variance beyond demographic and clinical factors, which is similar to the amount of variance contributed by pain interference and depressive symptoms combined (49%). Fatigue also accounted for significant amounts of variance in physical function and quality of life (R2 = .27 and .33 respectively) above and beyond the effects of demographic and clinical factors.

Conclusion: Fatigue is an important clinical problem in SSc and is strongly associated with decreased participation in social roles and activities. Rehabilitation interventions that focus on fatigue management may be necessary to maximize participation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArthritis Care & Research
Early online date16 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2019

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