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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Participation in school and physical education in juvenile idiopathic arthritis in a Nordic long-term cohort study

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  • Nordic Study Group of Pediatric Rheumatology (NoSPeR)
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BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to describe school attendance and participation in physical education in school among children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

METHODS: Consecutive cases of JIA from defined geographical areas of Finland, Sweden and Norway with disease onset in 1997 to 2000 were followed for 8 years in a multi-center cohort study, aimed to be as close to population-based as possible. Clinical characteristics and information on school attendance and participation in physical education (PE) were registered.

RESULTS: Participation in school and in PE was lowest initially and increased during the disease course. Eight years after disease onset 228/274 (83.2%) of the children reported no school absence due to JIA, while 16.8% reported absence during the last 2 months due to JIA. Full participation in PE was reported by 194/242 (80.2%), partly by 16.9%, and none by 2.9%. Lowest participation in PE was found among children with ERA and the undifferentiated categories. Absence in school and PE was associated with higher disease activity measures at the 8-year visit. School absence > 1 day at baseline predicted use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, including biologics (DMARDs) (OR 1.2 (1.1-1.5)), and non-remission off medication (OR 1.4 (1.1-1.7) 8 years after disease onset.

CONCLUSION: School absence at baseline predicted adverse long-term outcome. In children and adolescents with JIA participation in school activities is mostly high after 8 years of disease. For the minority with low participation, special attention is warranted to promote their full potential of social interaction and improve long-term outcome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Rheumatology Online Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)44
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 58928822