Background At present, the average time interval between appearance of the first signs of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and the correct diagnosis is 7-8 years. This fact leads to delay of potentially effective therapy.
Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of educational activities for general practitioners (GP) in AS detection.
Methods The educational schools are conducted to identify the inflammatory back pain, diagnosis and treatment of AS for GPs since January 2010. At these schools primarily discusses the criteria for chronic inflammatory back pain (ASAS), the possible clinical picture at the onset of the disease (arthritis, uveitis, enthesitis etc.), the importance of timely assessment of laboratory parameters (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, CRP), the identification of HLA-B27, modern imaging techniques (X-ray and MRI) and the possibility of disease-modifying therapy in the early stages of disease
Results valuation of the results was carried out according to analysis of outpatient rheumatological report from Rhematological Center in Kazan for 2009-2010. After the schools in 2010 among all patients consulted by rheumatologists, the proportion of patients with AS increased to 6.3% (575 patients) compared with 2009 (4.5%, 378 patients). The number of patients with AS, who came first, increased from 118 (31.2%) to 190 (33.05%) patients. In 2009, the primary patients with AS were sent by different doctors to rheumatologist with other diagnoses in 78% of cases. In 2010, the percentage difference of primary diagnoses decreased to 14%.
Conclusions Educational programs for primary care physicians are essential and contribute to early diagnosis of AS, the timely appointment of therapy, improve quality of life. Experience in conducting educational activities in Kazan has led to improved detection of the AS by primary care physicians and timely referral to a rheumatologist.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared