Motor performance and functional ability in preschool- and early school-aged children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: a cross-sectional study

Janjaap van der Net, Patrick van der Torre, Raoul HH Englebert, Vivian Engelen, Femke van Zon, Tim Takken and Paul JM Helders

The purpose of the study was to examine the level of functional skill and motor performance in young children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Using the ILAR classification system the researchers had a sample of 56 pre school and early school age children with JIA in this cross section study. The authors used the Bayley scales of infant development and the movement assessment battery for children to measure motor performance and the pediatric evaluation of disability inventory (PEDI) to measure functional skill. They also looked at a disease outcome by monitoring range of movement, pain level and functional ability at different joints.

The results showed that 22 children with a mean age of 2.1 years had a delayed motor performance with a mena developmental index value of 77.9 and that 45% of the children had a severely delayed motor performance. The mean PEDI scores were normal with 34 early school age children indicating a normal performance. Disease outcome in both groups showed low-moderate scores with mean PEDI scores showing impaired mobility skills. Also noted was the correlation between the groups on age at onset of disease, duration and between disease outcome and PEDI in both age groups.

To conclude, more PSA children have more impaired motor performance than impaired functional skills, whilst ESA have more impairment in functional skill. Impairments such as these are found in children with a polyarticular disease course and the authors recommend that rehabilitation programmes should focus on motor performance and functional skill development in young children with JIA.

Pediatric Rheumatology 2008, Vol 6:2

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