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Most visits of most patients with rheumatoid arthritis to most rheumatologists do not include a formal quantitative joint count
  1. T Pincus1,
  2. O G Segurado2
  1. 1Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor T Pincus
    Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 203 Oxford House, Box 5, Nashville, TN 37232-4500, USA; t.pincus{at}vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Objective: To ask rheumatologists about the likelihood of performing a formal joint count at each visit of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in standard clinical care.

Method: Direct query of rheumatologists at an international meeting of about 600 rheumatologists from 17 European countries.

Results: Overall, 14% of rheumatologists reported performing a formal joint count at each visit of each patient, and 44% of rheumatologists reported performing a formal joint count at more than 50% of visits of patients with RA. Therefore, 56% of rheumatologists reported performing a joint count at fewer than 50% of visits, including 45% at fewer than 25% of visits. One in eight rheumatologists (13%) reported never performing a formal joint count.

Conclusion: Although the joint count remains the most specific measure for RA, most visits of most patients with RA to most rheumatologists do not include a formal quantitative joint count.

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • joint count
  • patient questionnaires
  • clinical practice

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Footnotes

  • Published Online First 16 November 2005

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