Introduction: There are limited data about the quality of life of rheumatoid arthritis patients admitted to rehabilitation centres in Hungary. Aim: The aim of the authors was to assess demographic data, social status, health related quality of life, and needs for assistance and disease-related information of 239 rheumatoid arthritis patients (169 women and 7 men) admitted to four rehabilitation centres in Hungary. Method: For the assessment of demographic, social and other data the authors developed questionnaires. The health related quality of life was evaluated using the validated Short Form 36 questionnaire. Results: The authors found that rheumatoid arthritis patients require in-patient rehabilitation relatively early in their disease course. 80.4% of the patients were over 50 years of age, and their social status was low as compared to the average of the Hungarian population. The health related quality of life of patients was significantly lower than that of the average population, but it was similar to the quality of life of patients with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and low back pain. Among domains of the quality of life, the scores for physical function and pain were the lowest. The most common accompanying diseases included hypertension and osteoporosis. In case of knee and hip surgeries, postoperative rehabilitation was performed in due time. Patients were not satisfied with disease-related information and education given by health care providers. Conclusions: There is poor quality of life of rheumatoid arthritis patients admitted to rehabilitation centres in Hungary. More efforts should be done to provide disease-related information and education for patients.
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