Monitoring patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis using health-related quality of life

Background: Pediatric patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) are at risk for a lower health-related quality of life compared to their healthy peers. Remote monitoring of health-related quality of life using electronic patient-reported outcomes could provide important information to treating physicians. The aim of this study was to investigate if self-assessment with the EuroQol five-dimensional ‘youth’ questionnaire with five levels (EQ-5D-Y-5 L) inside a mobile E-health application could identify JIA patients in need of possible treatment adjustments.

Methods: The EQ-5D-Y-5 L was completed via a mobile application (Reuma2Go) between October 2017 and January 2019. The clinical juvenile arthritis disease activity score with 71 joint count (cJADAS-71) was reported at every corresponding visit as reference for disease activity. Previously described cJADAS-71 thresholds were used to identify patients in possible need of treatment adjustments. Discriminatory power of the EQ-5D-Y-5 L was assessed by ROC-curves and diagnostic characteristics.

Results: Sixty-eight JIA patients completed the EQ-5D-Y-5 L questionnaire. Median cJADAS-71 indicated low disease activity overall in the studied population. ROC curves and diagnostic characteristics demonstrated that self-assessment with the EQ-5D-Y-5 L could distinguish between patients with inactive disease (or minimal disease activity) and moderate to high disease activity with good accuracy (87%), sensitivity (85%), specificity (89%) and negative predictive value (86%).

Conclusions: Results demonstrate that the EQ-5D-Y-5 L was able to identify JIA patients in need of possible treatment adjustments in our studied population. Remote monitoring of health-related quality of life and patient-reported outcomes via E-health applications could provide important additional information to determine the frequency of clinical visits, assess therapeutic efficacy and guide treat-to-target strategies in pediatric patients with JIA.

Keywords: Disease activity; E-health; EQ-5D-Y-5 L; Health-related quality of life; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Mobile applications; Remote monitoring.