Objectives: To investigate the course of hand osteoarthritis over 2 years by currently available outcome measures.
Methods: 189 participants of the Genetics, Arthrosis and Progression (GARP) study with hand osteoarthritis were followed for 2 years. Self-reported hand pain and functional limitations were assessed with the Australian/Canadian osteoarthritis hand index (AUSCAN LK 3.0). Pain intensity upon lateral pressure in the interphalangeal and thumb base joints was graded on a four-point scale. Osteophytes (0–3) and joint space narrowing (JSN) (0–3) was scored at baseline and after 2 years in interphalangeal and thumb base joints. Standardised response means (SRM) were calculated.
Results: 172 (91%) patients completed the 2-year follow-up (mean age 60.5 years, 78.5% women). Statistically significant increases in self-reported pain and function scores, in pain intensity scores as well as in osteophyte and JSN total scores were seen over 2 years. SRM were 0.25, 0.23, 0.67, 0.34 and 0.35, respectively, for self-reported pain and function scores, pain intensity scores, osteophyte and JSN total scores. Radiological progression was not associated with changes in self-reported pain and function. Women in an early post-menopausal stage were especially at risk of progressing radiologically.
Conclusions: Currently available outcome measures were able to assess progression over the relatively short time period of 2 years. Radiographic outcomes were more responsive than self-reported outcomes. Pain intensity upon lateral pressure seems to be a responsive measure but needs validation.
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Competing interests: None.
Funding: This work was funded by Pfizer Inc, Groton, Connecticut, USA.
Ethics approval: The GARP study was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the Leiden University Medical Centre.
Patient consent: Obtained.
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