Fatigue in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: A systematic review of the literature

Otto T.H.M. Lelieveld, PhD

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semarthrit.2015.10.008



To perform a systematic review of the current literature on studies related to fatigue in children with JIA. We studied the measurements that were used to assess fatigue and we focused on three outcome measurements, namely, (1) the prevalence of fatigue in JIA patients, (2) the determinants of and associations with fatigue in JIA patients, and (3) the impact of fatigue in JIA patients on daily life.


A search was conducted in the electronic databases Pubmed and Embase from January 1, 2000 until August 27, 2015. The quality in prognostic factors (QUIPS) tool was used to assess the risk of bias (ROB) in the selected studies, focused on the outcome fatigue. Of all, two authors independently judged the ROB.


A total of 15 studies were included in this review. To assess fatigue, two unidimensional and three multidimensional scales were used, which hampered comparison. Fatigue was reported to be present in 60–76% of the patients with JIA and was related to time of day, disease activity, pain, psychosocial factors, and sleep. Minor consequences for daily life were found, though this was not studied extensively.


Fatigue is common in patients with JIA. The cause reflects a complex interplay of different factors. Based on results from this review and its body of knowledge, a conceptual model for fatigue in patients with JIA is proposed. Consensus is needed for future studies on how to assess fatigue. We promote the use of a combination of unidimensional and validated multidimensional measurements.

Source: http://www.semarthritisrheumatism.com/article/S0049-0172(15)00269-3/abstract