A comparison of performance on the Keitel Functional Test by persons with systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Abstract

PURPOSE

The purpose of this study is to compare lower extremity impairments in persons with systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and healthy controls.

METHODS

The participants were a convenience sample of 64 persons with systemic sclerosis, 58 persons with rheumatoid arthritis, and 30 healthy controls. The Keitel Functional Test was used to assess lower extremity joint motion and strength. Demographic information on age, disease duration, employment, and perceived overall health was also collected.

RESULTS

Significant differences were found between the healthy control group and both the systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis groups in rising from a chair, squatting, walking 30 m, walking up and downstairs, and the total score. For hip external rotation, there were significant differences between all three groups for the right hip; for the left hip, the systemic sclerosis group had significantly less motion than the other two groups. For standing on toes, there was only a significant difference between the systemic sclerosis and the healthy control groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Persons with systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis have similar levels of lower extremity impairments but greater impairments compared to the healthy controls. These impairments may lead to decreased mobility paired with difficulties with activities of daily living such as lower extremity dressing, bathing, and feet care. Implications for Rehabilitation Persons with systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis have similar levels of lower extremity impairments but greater impairments compared to the healthy controls. Findings from this study indicate a need for rehabilitation for persons with systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis as the lower extremity impairments may lead to decreased mobility paired with difficulties with daily living activities such as lower extremity dressing, bathing, and feet care. The Keitel Functional Test could be used as a quick screening test for lower extremity impairments.

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