Pain and Fatigue in Patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis Treated with Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors: Multinational Real-World Findings

Vibeke Strand, Atul Deodhar, Rieke Alten, Emma Sullivan, Stuart Blackburn, Haijun Tian, Kunal K. Gandhi, Steffen M. Jugl, Philip G. Conaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/Objective Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) experience symptoms and comorbidities that impact their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and ability to work. This real-world, global survey was conducted among AS patients receiving tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFis) to evaluate both the frequency and severity of persistent symptoms, and the impact of pain and fatigue on HRQoL, employment status, and work activity. Methods Patients with AS and their treating physicians from 13 countries across 5 continents completed questionnaires capturing demographics, patient symptoms, current disease status, HRQoL, current therapy, employment status, and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment. Results Seven hundred five patients who had been receiving a TNFi for 3 months or more and completed both Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) pain and fatigue domains were included in the analysis; of these, 37.6% reported high BASDAI pain scores and 41.3% high BASDAI fatigue scores. Medical Outcomes Study-Short Form, 36-item version 2 domain, 5-dimensional EuroQoL Questionnaire, and 5-dimensional EuroQoL visual analog scale scores were significantly lower (p < 0.0001), and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scores significantly higher (p < 0.0001), in patients with high levels of pain or fatigue than low levels. Conclusions Globally, levels of pain and fatigue remained high in AS patients receiving TNFi treatment, which were significantly associated with reduced HRQoL and work productivity. Such persistent symptoms in usual care suggest a substantial unmet need in AS pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapeutic pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E446-E455
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Keywords

  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • fatigue
  • pain
  • quality of life
  • tumor necrosis factor inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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