Functional assessment tools for paediatric clients with juvenile chronic arthritis: An update and review for occupational therapists

G. Ted Brown, Margaret Wallen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) is one cause of chronic illness and disability in childhood. Traditional clinical assessment of clients with JCA include objective measures of joint deformity, joint swelling, range of motion, duration of morning stiffness, pain, walking speed, running speed and muscle strength. In many instances, these traditional measures have little or no significance or relevance to paediatric clients and their parents whereas functional skills used in everyday living are more likely to be meaningful. Measures of physical, social, and psychological functioning ensure a comprehensive health assessment. Responsible occupational therapy assessment and management of paediatric clients diagnosed with JCA requires the use of reliable, valid and sensitive measures of function. Several instruments are now available which measure a child's or adolescent's functional abilities. In this paper, JCA and the impact of JCA on functional development are reviewed. As well, seven functional assessment tools designed for use with paediatric clients with JCA which occupational therapists can use in their clinical practice will be appraised. The various characteristics of these tools are discussed in order to assist practitioners and researchers in selecting the functional instrument which best meets their needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living
  • Occupational performance
  • Occupational therapy
  • Outcome measures
  • Paediatric rheumatology
  • Pediatrics

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