Gout is a painful, inflammatory disease that may cause decreased function and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Limited study did not take the influence of gout characteristics and anxiety on HRQoL into consideration and there are no studies associated with functional disability in individuals with gout from China. This study aims to investigate the related factors of functional disability and HRQoL in gout patients recruited from China.
A total of 226 consecutive gout patients and 232 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals were involved in the study. A series of questionnaires (the Short Form 36 health survey, the Patient Health Questionnaire, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder questionnaire, the 10 cm Visual Analog Scale, and the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index) were applied. Blood samples were taken to examine the level of serum uric acid. Independent samples t-tests, Chi square tests, U test, Spearman rank correlation, logistic regression modeling, and linear regression were used to analyze the data.
After adjusted demographic variables, individuals with gout have poorer HRQoL compared to healthy controls. Univariate tests presented that patients with functional disability had longer disease duration, more frequent flares/last year, more severe total pain, more number of tophi, higher degree of depression and anxiety, with a trend toward diabetes, the treatment of colchicine and corticosteroids use, compared to patients without functional disability. Meanwhile, place of residence, hypertension, DM, disease duration, cardiovascular disease, number of flares/last year, total pain, more number of tophi, presence of tender joints, depression, anxiety, currently using colchicine and corticosteroids were correlated significantly with HRQoL. Additionally, multiple regression analysis identified severe pain, depression, and colchicine use as predictors of functional disability. Cardiovascular disease, total pain, number of flares/last year, presence of tender joints, depression, anxiety, colchicine and corticosteroids use contributed to low HRQoL.
After adjusted demographic variables, gout subjects have poorer HRQoL compared to healthy controls. Chinese gout population experiencing poor HRQoL and functional disability were likely to suffer from gout-related features and psychological problems. The results underscore the need of effective interventions including psychological nursing and appropriate treatment approaches to reduce their functional disability and improve their HRQoL.