Association of Disease Activity and Disability With Rehabilitation Utilization in African American Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine the association of disease activity and disability with rehabilitation utilization in African American adults 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 in 28 joints using the C-reactive protein level. 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 1,067 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% versus 16%). A greater proportion of those with established RA reported any past rehabilitation utilization (28% versus 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 American adults 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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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Thoma LM; Cleveland RJ; Jonas BL; Bridges SL; Callahan LF
  • Start Page

  • 16
  • End Page

  • 21
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 1