Disease activity, handgrip strengths, and hand dexterity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Palamar D. , Er G., Terlemez R., USTUN I., Can G. , Saridogan M.

CLINICAL RHEUMATOLOGY, cilt.36, ss.2201-2208, 2017 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 36 Konu: 10
  • Basım Tarihi: 2017
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s10067-017-3756-9
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.2201-2208


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the hand joints and leading to impairment in hand functions. Evaluation of functional impairment is necessary for assessing patient's quality of life, disease activity, and treatment outcome. To date, many scientific studies assessed the disease activity of patients with RA, but little attention has been carried out to assess these patients' hand functions and dexterity. The purposes of this study were to determine the clinical relevance of the Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH), hand dexterity with the Purdue Pegboard Test (PPT), and handgrip strength and pinch strengths of RA patients and to look into their relation between each other. A prospective trial was performed in women with RA who were followed at the physical medicine and rehabilitation department of our university hospital. Eighty-two women between the ages of 18 and 70, with a diagnosis of RA according to the 2010 American College of Rheumatology/the European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) criterion, were recruited to the study. The Disease Activity Scores were determined by using Disease Activity Score-28 (DAS-28). Handgrip strength was measured with a Jamar dynamometer, and lateral, palmar, and tip pinch strengths were measured by a pinchmeter. Hand functions were evaluated with the PPT, and functional outcomes were assessed with the QuickDASH questionnaire. The mean age of the study group was 49.27 +/- 10.69 years. The average values of DAS-28 and the QuickDASH values were found to be 4.22 +/- 1.28 and 38.33 +/- 19.78, consecutively. High correlation was observed between DAS-28 and the QuickDASH values (p < 0.001). The mean grip strengths in both hands were significantly correlated with the QuickDASH values (p < 0.001), and also, DAS-28 values were very significantly correlated with the mean grip strength in the dominant hand (p < 0.001) and in the nondominant hand (p < 0.01). The mean lateral pinch strengths in both hands were correlated statistically significantly with DAS-28 and the QuickDASH scores (p < 0.001). The mean tip pinch strengths in both hands were correlated with DAS-28 scores, but correlation with the QuickDASH scores was seen just in the dominant hand (p < 0.05). There was no correlation between palmar pinch strengths in both hands with the DAS-28 and QuickDASH scores (p > 0.05). DAS-28 was correlated with PPT performance on the dominant hand (p < 0.05), but there was no correlation with the nondominant hand, both hands, and assembly (p > 0.05). The QuickDASH values were not correlated with all PPT performances (p > 0.05). Handgrip strengths of both hands were positively correlated with the PPT performances (p < 0.05). In conclusion, we determined that handgrip strengths were significantly related to disability and disease activity in the RA patients in our study. The QuickDASH is practical to use in clinical practice, and positively correlates with the disease activity. Dexterity measurements with PPT in the RA patient group were found practical and effective in our study. As a result, we can suggest using QuickDASH questionnaire for functional outcomes, handgrip strength measurements for assessment of hand disability and functional impairments, and also dexterity measurements even in patients with low disease activity.