Caribbean Medical Journal (May 2022)

Arthritis and Health Related Quality of Life in Adult Outpatients in Trinidad: A Cross Sectional Study

  • Akshita Dawar


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Objectives Arthritis is a major public health concern due to the high prevalence reported globally and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The main objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of self-reported joint pain in Trinidad, arthritis and its associations with HRQOL in a Trinidadian primary care population. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted on adult primary care attendees from 16 randomly selected centres during the period January to June 2016 using an interviewer administered de novo questionnaire. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for predictors of HRQOL. Results Of 421 subjects approached, 392 (93%) completed this survey. The average age was 46 ± 17.8 years with 60.5% of respondents being female and 75% being of either East Indian or African descent. Joint pain in the past 6 months, reported by 57.9% of participants, was associated with older age (P <0.001), female gender (P = 0.016), East Indian descent (P = 0.001) and unemployment (P <0.001) Joint swelling was reported by 48% of those who reported joint pain (28% of entire sample). A self-reported diagnosis of Chikungunya related arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout was made by 12.0%, 9.8%, 9.3%, 7.6% and 1.3% of the sample, respectively. There was significant (P <0.005) upset in all domains of quality of life in those with joint pain. Conclusion One third of adult primary care attendees reported arthritis with upset in all HRQOL domains. These findings lend support for the improvement in rheumatology services in this setting.