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Objective

To examine the degree to which nonmedical factors explain additional variance in parent proxy report and child self-report of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among newly diagnosed children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) after accounting for medical factors.

Methods

Parents (of children ages 2–16 years; n = 230) and patients (ages >5 years; n = 180) diagnosed within the previous 6 months completed surveys to assess medical (clinical parameters and functional status) and nonmedical (self-efficacy, coping, barriers to adherence, social support, parental distress, and access to care) factors and HRQOL (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Generic Core Scales). Physician-rated global assessment of disease activity, active joint count, and select laboratory variables (rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate) were recorded.

Results

Nonmedical factors, including self-efficacy, coping with pain, barriers to adherence, social support, and parental distress, explained additional variance in HRQOL total, physical functioning, and psychosocial functioning scales (R2 increases of 6%, 1%, and 13% for parent proxy report and 16%, 7%, and 30% for self-report, respectively). Parental distress was uniquely associated with parent proxy-report HRQOL, while child self-efficacy and social support were uniquely associated with self-report HRQOL.

Conclusion

Nonmedical factors are associated with HRQOL in newly diagnosed patients with JIA after accounting for medical variables, particularly for psychosocial functioning.