Calin A, Garrett S, Whitelock H, Kennedy LG, O'Hea J, Mallorie P, Jenkinson T. A new approach to defining functional ability in ankylosing spondylitis: the development of the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index
After pain and stiffness, one of the most important complaints of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is disability. The main aims of treatment are to control pain but also to improve function. Various methods of assessing function exist but are either not specific for the disease or have not been adequately validated. As a result of this deficiency we developed the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) as a new approach to defining and monitoring functional ability in patients with AS.
This self-assessment instrument was designed by a team of medical professionals in conjunction with patients, and consists of 8 specific questions regarding function in AS and 2 questions reflecting the patient's ability to cope with everyday life. Each question is answered on a 10 cm horizontal visual analog scale, the mean of which gives the BASFI score (0-10). The questionnaire was completed 257 times in total: once by 116 outpatients and by 47 inpatients on 3 occasions over a 3-week intensive physiotherapy course. In addition, the instrument was compared with the Dougados functional index.
Patients scores covered 95% of the BASFI range, giving a normal distribution of results. In contrast only 65% of the Dougados functional index scale was used. Furthermore, over the 3 week period of inpatient treatment, the BASFI revealed a significant improvement in function (20%, p = 0.004) while there was a less impressive change in the Dougados functional index (6%, p = 0.03). This demonstrates the superior sensitivity of the BASFI: Consistency was good for both indices (p < 0.001), as was the relationship between patient perception of function and function as assessed by an external observer (p < 0.001).
The BASFI satisfies the criteria required of a functional index: it is quick and easy to complete, is reliable and is sensitive to change across the whole spectrum of disease.
"Disease activity was evaluated by ESR, CRP, and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI)  . Physical function was assessed by Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI; on a scale of 0–10) . BMD of lumbar spine (anterior-posterior projection at L1–L4) and hip (total proximal femur) were monitored by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To assess the serum vitamin D and ICTP levels in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and investigate their relationship with disease activity and bone mineral density (BMD). Method. 150 patients and 168 controls were included. Serum 25(OH)D, ICTP, C-reaction protein (CRP), Bath AS Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), Bath AS Functional Index (BASFI), and Hip BMD were assessed in patients. 25(OH)D and ICTP were detected in controls. Results. The serum 25(OH)D in AS was 57.92 ± 24.42 nmol/L, significantly lower than controls (91.24 ± 42.02 nmol/L). Serum ICTP in AS was 5.72 ± 3.88 ug/L, significantly higher than controls (3.69 ± 1.26 ug/L). ICTP level was higher in men than in women patients (6.07 ± 4.05 versus 3.84 ± 1.96 ug/L, P ≤ 0.01); it was also higher in JAS than in AAS (9.52 ± 3.79 versus 5.27 ± 3.65 ug/L, P ≤ 0.01). Furthermore, 25(OH)D was negatively correlated with ICTP. Low 25(OH)D and high ICTP were one of the reasons of AS patients' low hip BMD. Besides, a significant relationship was found between serum ICTP and CRP. Conclusion. There was a high incidence of vitamin D inadequacy in AS. Serum ICTP level was elevated in AS, especially in JAS and male patients. 25(OH)D and ICTP seem to be valuable markers to detect bone loss in AS.
"To measure the functional disability, the participants were asked to complete the Bath ankylosing spondylitis functional index (BASFI). Disease status and changes in spinal movement were assessed by using the Bath ankylosing spondylitis metrology index (BASMI). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between physical function, disease activity, spinal mobility and bone parameters in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. Fifty patients (27 men and 23 women) were examined. The clinical assessment included Bath AS Disease Activity Index, AS Disease Activity Score, Bath AS Functional Index, Bath AS Metrology Index (BASMI). Lumbar spine and femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD), spinal trabecular bone score (TBS) and the TBS T-score were calculated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Prevalence rates for osteoporosis and osteopaenia were 14% and 36%, respectively and for partially and fully degraded microarchitecture - 34% and 16%, respectively. A similar inverse correlation was observed between BASMI and TBS, TBS T-score and femoral BMD bone parameters, which were significantly lower in patients ≥45 years of age. No significant correlations were detected between any bone parameter and indicators of disease activity and physical function. Patients with a disease duration of ≥10 years tended to exhibit either normal or elevated spine BMD. Femoral BMD was lower in men. The higher BASMI was associated with an increased likelihood of TBS < 1.350 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.44, 1.05-1.97, p = 0.024) and TBS T-score < -1.00 (OR = 1.55, 1.11-2.16, p = 0.01). In summary, lumbar spine BMD can be erroneously influenced by osteoproliferation, unlike the TBS and TBS T-score. The limitations in spinal mobility predicted abnormal results for these two TBS parameters. TBS may be a better indicator of bone health than BMD in AS.
"A structured questionnaire was used to evaluate demographic and clinical variables including disease duration, smoking, and comorbidities. Patients were assessed by the same trained researcher at baseline (time of the initial prescription by attending rheumatologist) and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months for the following variables: (a) disease activity according to Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Activity Index (BASDAI)  and (b) functioning according to Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) . In order to evaluate repercussions secondary to lung affection (deteriorated FVC%), we used the following indices: (a) Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) , a specific health-related quality of life index (HRQOL) for patients with pulmonary disease that consists of a 50-item questionnaire, evaluating 3 domains: symptoms, activity, and disease impact with 10 multiple choice questions and 40 true or false answers, (b) 6- Minute Walk Test (6MWT) , used to evaluate one-time cardiopulmonary functional status, and (c) Modified Borg Scale that provides an individual measurement of dyspnea intensity before and after the 6MWT; this test was used to assess the severity of dyspnea  "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To evaluate the effect of anti-TNF agents plus synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) versus DMARDs alone for ankylosing spondylitis (AS) with reduced pulmonary function vital capacity (FVC%). Methods. In an observational study, we included AS who had FVC% <80% at baseline. Twenty patients were taking DMARDs and 16 received anti-TNF + DMARDs.
changes in FVC%, BASDAI, BASFI, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Borg scale after 6MWT, and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire at 24 months. Results. Both DMARDs and anti-TNF + DMARDs groups had similar baseline values in FVC%. Significant improvement was achieved with anti-TNF + DMARDs in FVC%, at 24 months, when compared to DMARDs alone (P = 0.04). Similarly, patients in anti-TNF + DMARDs group had greater improvement in BASDAI, BASFI, Borg scale, and 6MWT when compared to DMARDs alone. After 2 years of follow-up, 14/16 (87.5%) in the anti-TNF + DMARDs group achieved the primary outcome: FVC% ≥80%, compared with 11/20 (55%) in the DMARDs group (P = 0.04). Conclusions. Patients with anti-TNF + DMARDs had a greater improvement in FVC% and cardiopulmonary scales at 24 months compared with DMARDs. This preliminary study supports the fact that anti-TNF agents may offer additional benefits compared to DMARDs in patients with AS who have reduced FVC%.
Journal of Immunology Research 06/2015; 2015:1-8. DOI:10.1155/2015/980147 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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