Article Text


Inability of rheumatologists to describe their true policies for assessing rheumatoid arthritis.
  1. J R Kirwan,
  2. D M Chaput de Saintonge,
  3. C R Joyce,
  4. J Holmes,
  5. H L Currey


    Eighty nine British and Australian rheumatologists took part in a study to discover how accurately they could describe their procedures for measuring disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis. The relative importance they attached to different clinical and laboratory variables showed a very wide variation, and these stated policies were generally poor at predicting their actual judgments when assessing 'paper patients' (r2 = 39%). Policies based on equal weighting of all variables, while also poor predictors (r2 = 41%), were nevertheless superior to their stated policies for 49 respondents. Policies calculated by judgment (linear regression) analysis were much more successful predictors (R2 = 73%). Unhurried, detailed interviews with four experienced rheumatologists provided carefully considered statements of assessment policy, but these also were poor predictors of routine assessments of outpatients (r2 = 34%) compared with policies calculated by clinical judgment analysis, even when these were applied to new data (R2 = 88%).

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.