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Routine Use of Quantitative Disease Activity Measurements among US Rheumatologists: Implications for Treat-to-target Management Strategies in Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Curtis JR1,2, Chen L3,4, Danila MI3,4, Saag KG3,4, Parham KL3,4, Cush JJ3,4. J Rheumatol. 2018 Jan;45(1):40-44. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.170548. Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Abstract

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1 From University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, Texas, USA. jrcurtis@uabmc.edu.

2 J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, MS, University of Alabama at Birmingham; L. Chen, MD, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham; M.I. Danila, MD, MSc, MSPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham; K.G. Saag, MD, MSc, University of Alabama at Birmingham; K.L. Parham, BA, University of Alabama at Birmingham; J.J. Cush, MD, Baylor Research Institute. jrcurtis@uabmc.edu.

3 From University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, Texas, USA.

4 J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, MS, University of Alabama at Birmingham; L. Chen, MD, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham; M.I. Danila, MD, MSc, MSPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham; K.G. Saag, MD, MSc, University of Alabama at Birmingham; K.L. Parham, BA, University of Alabama at Birmingham; J.J. Cush, MD, Baylor Research Institute.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to examine why real-world practices and attitudes regarding quantitative measurements of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have received limited attention.

METHODS: An e-mail survey asked US rheumatologists to self-report on their use of quantitative measurements (metric).

RESULTS: Among 439 respondents, metric rheumatologists (58%) were more likely to be in group practice and to use tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. The quantitative tools most commonly used were the Health Assessment Questionnaire (35.5%) and the Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (27.1%). Reasons for not measuring included time needed and electronic availability. Based on simulated case scenarios, providing more quantitative information increased the likelihood that a patient would change to a different disease-modifying antirheumatic drug or biologic.

CONCLUSION: Routine use of quantitative measurement for patients in the United States with RA is increasing over time but remains low.