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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Published Online First 16 November 2005
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