Modern treatment for patients with chronic inflammatory joint diseases includes pharmacological as well as rehabilitation and joint surgery when needed. The major shift over the past decade in the pharmacological treatment strategies includes tight inflammation control by optimizing conventional DMARD therapy and when needed adding on biologic therapies. Within the area of non-pharmacological treatment changes have also occurred with more individualized/tailored information, training and physical treatment programs.
The major focus in outcomes within rheumatology has been patient oriented measures and measures of disease activity/disease severity. With the modern strategies for earlier diagnosis, earlier and more effective treatment and tight control also other outcomes have become relevant. These include measures of work related outcomes on both presenteeism and absenteeism. Levels of sick leave and disability pensions reflect the absenteeism and validated PROs such as WPAI are used to reflect productivity/presenteeism.
All this information and in addition measures of direct and indirect costs can be used for both health economic modeling and calculations.
It is important for patients, health care providers, clinicians and politicians/decision makers to include the now well established long term benefits of modern treatment in the scope of rheumatological health care and treatment. Several studies confirm the severe negative impact on work ability from chronic inflammatory joint diseases but also the positive changes for patients with optimal modern treatment.
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Disclosure of Interest I. Petersson Speakers Bureau: Pfizer, Abbott, UCB Pharma