Perceived functioning has ethnic-specific associations in systemic sclerosis: Another dimension of personalized medicine

Terry A. McNearney, Sonya E. Hunnicutt, Michael Fischbach, Alan W. Friedman, Martha Aguilar, Chul W. Ahn, John D. Reveille, Jeffrey R. Lisse, Bruce A. Baethge, Niti Goel, Maureen D. Mayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective. To measure self-reported physical and mental functioning and associated clinical features at study entry in 3 ethnic groups with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods. Sixty Hispanic, 39 African American, and 104 Caucasian patients with recent-onset SSc (< 5 yrs) were assessed for perceived physical and mental functioning, using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) and Scleroderma-Health Assessment Questionnaire (Scleroderma-HAQ). Socioeconomic, demographic, clinical, immunologic, immunogenetic, behavioral, and psychological variables (Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, ISEL; Illness Behavior Questionnaire, IBQ; andArthritis Helplessness Index,AHI) were analyzed by linear regression models for associations with SF-36 and mHAQ scores as dependent variables. Results. Perceived physical functioning scores had ethnic-specific associations with AHI > fatigue scores > IBQ > clinical variables (hypertension, skin score, and percentage predicted DLCO). Scleroderma-HAQ scores had ethnic-specific associations with IBQ > AHI scores > most clinical and laboratory variables. Decreased mental component summary (MCS) scores associated with AHI > ISEL. Ethnic-specific immunogenetic variables HLA-DQB1*0202 (Caucasian) and HLA-DRB1*11 (African American), and HLA-DQA1*0501 (Hispanic) also associated with MCS. Antinuclear autoantibodies, anti-topoisomerase I, and RNA polymerases I and III also demonstrated associations with functioning in African American and Hispanic groups. Conclusion. Clinical, psychosocial, and immunogenetic variables had ethnic-specific associations with perceived physical and mental functioning. Consideration of ethnic-specific psychological and behavioral support in designing more personalized, relevant therapeutic interventions for the patient may improve therapeutic efficacy in SSc. The Journal of Rheumatology

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2724-2732
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Hispanic
  • Illness behavior questionnaire
  • Interpersonal support evaluation list
  • Medical outcomes study short form-36
  • Personalized medicine
  • Scleroderma health assessment questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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