Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 Sep 29. doi: 10.1002/acr.24797. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of disease activity and disability with rehabilitation utilization in African Americans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
METHODS: We analyzed cross-sectional baseline data from the Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African Americans with RA (CLEAR) I and CLEAR II Registry. Disease activity was quantified with the Disease Activity Score 28 with C-Reactive Protein. Disability was measured with the Health Assessment Questionnaire. Rehabilitation utilization was determined by self-reported recall of physical therapy or occupational therapy visits in the prior 6 months or ever. We examined the association of disease activity and disability with rehabilitation utilization using separate binary logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals and adjusted for potential confounders. We repeated the analyses with the sample stratified by disease duration: early RA and established RA.
RESULTS: Of 1067 participants, 14% reported utilizing rehabilitation in the prior 6 months, and 41% reported ever utilizing rehabilitation. Rehabilitation utilization in the prior 6 months was similar among those with early and established RA (12% vs. 16%). A greater proportion of those with established RA reported any past rehabilitation utilization (28% vs. 50%). Among those with established RA but not early RA, worse disability was associated with rehabilitation utilization in the prior 6 months. Disease activity was not associated with either outcome.
CONCLUSION: Among African Americans with RA, rehabilitation utilization in the 6 months prior to assessment was low and associated with disability, but not disease activity. Factors driving rehabilitation utilization are unclear.
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