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Open Access Research article

Impact of juvenile idiopathic arthritis on schooling

Ilham Bouaddi1*, Samira Rostom1, Dalal El Badri1, Asmae Hassani1, Bouchra Chkirate2, Bouchra Amine1 and Najia Hajjaj-Hassouni1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Rheumatology, Al Ayachi Hospital, University Hospital of Rabat-Salé, Salé, 11000, Morocco

2 Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital, University Hospital of Rabat-Salé, Rabat, 10000, Morocco

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Citation and License

BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-2

Published: 7 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common arthropathy of childhood. Different diseases affect school attendance to varying degrees. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) on Moroccan children’s schooling.

Methods

Thirty-three children with JIA were included in this study, having been previously diagnosed according to the classification criteria of the International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR). Seventy-four healthy children were recruited to serve as controls. Data was obtained for all children on their school level, educational performance, and attendance. The rate of absenteeism due to health complications was noted.

Results

All healthy children were able to attend school (p<0.0001), while 33% of children with JIA were unable to attend school due to their condition. The students with JIA who were able to attend school were absent much more often than controls (63% compared to 20%), with a highly significant p value (p<0.0001). Slightly less than half of the JIA patients (48.5%) failed in their schooling. In univariate analysis, there was an association between absenteeism and tender joints (p=0.02), disease activity score (DAS28) (p=0.007), Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) (p=0.01), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (p=0.03). In multivariate analysis, the only association persisted between DAS28 and absenteeism.

Conclusions

Our study suggested that the schooling of children with JIA was negatively impacted due to the disorder. More studies, with a larger sample of children, are needed to confirm our findings.

Keywords:
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Children; Healthy controls; School; Absenteeism; Failure