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Rapidity of rheumatology consultation for people in an early inflammatory arthritis cohort
  1. D Ehrmann Feldman1,
  2. O Schieir2,
  3. A J Montcalm3,
  4. S Bernatsky4,
  5. M Baron3,
  6. The McGill Early Inflammatory Arthritis Research Group
  1. 1
    Université de Montréal, School of Rehabilitation, Montréal, Canada
  2. 2
    McGill University, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Montréal, Canada
  3. 3
    SMBD Jewish General Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, Montréal, Canada
  4. 4
    McGill University Health Centre, Clinical Epidemiology, Montréal, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr D Ehrmann Feldman, Université de Montréal, École de réadaptation, Pavillon 7077 du Parc, CP 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7; debbie.feldman{at}umontreal.ca

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have contact with a rheumatologist have better health outcomes than those who do not.1 We found that only 27% of newly suspected cases of RA consulted with a rheumatologist.2 However, this study was based on physician billing data; quality control of diagnostic coding and absence of severity indicators limit the conclusions. We pursued this issue further with patients who had a confirmed diagnosis and were in an early arthritis cohort. We hypothesised that this group would represent a “best case scenario” where the majority would have consulted a rheumatologist within the 3-month recommended window.3 We also explored factors that may be associated with referral, including patient characteristics such as laboratory results (C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor),4 5 sociodemographic factors and disease severity,2 6 …

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