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Acta Medica Medianae
Vol. 48, No2 , April, 2009
UDK 61
YU ISSN 0365-4478


Correspondence to:
Nela Živković

Prosvetna 25

18205 Niska Banja, Serbia

018/2548-020, 063/8854566







Original article


influence of joint damage on functional capacities in the patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis 


Nela Zivkovic1, Aleksandra Stankovic1, Ivana Krstic1, Tomislav Kostic2 and Natasa Ilic


Institute for prevention,  treatment and rehabilitation of rheumatic and cardial diseases  "Niška Banja"  in  Niska Banja1

Clinic of Cardiology, Clinical Center Nis2



Evaluating functional status in the patients with rheumatoid arthritis defines the presence of functional limitations and incapacitation. Patients’ ability to perform daily activities is reduced during the disease, and parameters influencing its reduction are numerous. 

The aim of this research was to examine the relation between joint damage and functional capacities of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

The analysis included 98 patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated at the Institute «Niska Banja». The examinees’ HAQ score was determined, after which they were separated into three functional groups, while standard hands and feet radiography determined the level of radiological damage (Larsen score). The majority of patients (41,8%) were characterized by functional disability (HAQ>2,01). The difference in values of Larsen score between the HAQ groups was statistically significant (p<0.001). There was no statistically significant association between the HAQ score and length of  disease  (p>0.05). The investigation showed that the increase of joint destruction reduces functional ability of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Acta Medica Medianae 2009;48(2):18-21.


Key words: functional ability, joint damage, rheumatoid arthritis