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01-06-2016 | Uitgave 6/2016 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 6/2016

Impact of clinical osteoarthritis of the hip, knee and hand on self-rated health in six European countries: the European Project on OSteoArthritis

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2016
N. M. van Schoor, S. Zambon, M. V. Castell, C. Cooper, M. Denkinger, E. M. Dennison, M. H. Edwards, F. Herbolsheimer, S. Maggi, M. Sánchez-Martinez, N. L. Pedersen, R. Peter, L. A. Schaap, J. J. M. Rijnhart, S. van der Pas, D. J. H. Deeg
Belangrijke opmerkingen
For the EPOSA research group.



Osteoarthritis (OA) has been shown to be associated with decreased physical function, which may impact upon a person’s self-rated health (SRH). Only a few studies have examined the association between OA and SRH in the general population, but to date none have used a clinical definition of OA. The objectives are: (1) To examine the cross-sectional association between clinical OA and fair-to-poor SRH in the general population; (2) To examine whether this association differs between countries; (3) To examine whether physical function is a mediator in the association between clinical OA and SRH.


Baseline data of the European Project on OSteoArthritis (EPOSA) were used, which includes pre-harmonized data from six European cohort studies (n = 2709). Clinical OA was defined according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria. SRH was assessed using one question: How is your health in general? Physical function was assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities OA Index and Australian/Canadian OA Hand Index.


The prevalence of fair-to-poor SRH ranged from 19.8 % in the United Kingdom to 63.5 % in Italy. Although country differences in the strength of the associations were observed, clinical OA of the hip, knee and hand were significantly associated with fair-to-poor SRH in five out of six European countries. In most countries and at most sites, the association between clinical OA and fair-to-poor SRH was partly or fully mediated by physical function.


Clinical OA at different sites was related to fair-to-poor SRH in the general population. Most associations were (partly) mediated by physical functioning, indicating that deteriorating physical function in patients with OA should be a point of attention in patient care.

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