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ABSTRACT: To investigate whether people with long term conditions, whatever their specific nature, need to be assessed and treated for the full range of mental, physical and social problems. Main question investigated: that rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia will be associated with significantly greater impairment across the subscores of the SF36 scale than in reference general population samples. Specific hypothesis tested: while rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia will impair both physical and mental functioning, when comparing the two groups there will be a greater difference between the physical component scores than there will be between the mental/emotional component scores of the short form health survey (SF-36).
Cross sectional comparison of SF-36 subscore profiles of cohorts of: (1) people with rheumatoid arthritis attending specialist Rheumatology outpatient clinics in five London hospitals (n = 446), and (2) people with schizophrenia treated by community psychiatric teams in four sites in Europe (n = 409).
Both groups had greater impairments across the whole spectrum of mental and physical problems assessed by the SF-36 than age specific normative data for the general population. The results also support our hypothesis that, comparing the people with rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia, we did find that there is a greater discrepancy between the physical scales than there is between the mental/emotional scales of the SF-36.
These findings show that whether the primary long-term condition is presenting as physical or as mental disorder, the practitioner should ensure that the full range of physical, mental and social problems is assessed and treated.
Quality of Life Research 06/2009; 18(6):699-707. · 2.41 Impact Factor