Influence of childhood scleroderma on physical function and quality of life

Eileen M. Baildam, Holly Ennis, Helen E. Foster, Lindsay Shaw, Alice S E Chieng, Jane Kelly, Ariane L. Herrick, Helen L. Richards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: There have been few studies of quality of life in childhood scleroderma and these focused predominantly on self-perception and the influence of skin lesions. Our cross-sectional study aimed to describe the influence of childhood scleroderma on physical function and quality of life in relation to clinical and demographic measures. Methods: Children with either localized scleroderma or systemic sclerosis (SSc) attending pediatric rheumatology clinics, together with their parents or guardians, were asked to complete a set of 4 validated measures. Clinical and demographic data were provided by consultant pediatric rheumatologists. Results: In total, 28 children and their parents/guardians participated in the study (68% female, median age 13 yrs; 86% localized scleroderma, 14% SSc). The median Child Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) score was 0.1 (range 0-3, 0 indicating no impairment), the median Child Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) score was 5 (range 0-30, 0 indicating no impairment), and the median Child Quality of Life Questionnaire (CQOL) function score was 26 (range 0-105, 0 indicating no impairment). Family activity, measured by the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-PF50), was also moderately impaired by scleroderma, with a median score of 83 (0-100, 100 indicating no impairment). Conclusion: Scleroderma had only a moderate effect on quality of life and physical function as measured by the 4 validated instruments. Although a small number of children reported greater impairment, this is an encouraging finding, given its potential disfiguring and debilitating effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)167-173
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Rheumatology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


    • Childhood-onset scleroderma
    • Physical function
    • Quality of life


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