Background According to the EULAR recommendations on the role of the nurse in the management of chronic inflammatory arthritis, nurses should participate in comprehensive disease management to control disease activity, to reduce symptoms and to improve patient-preferred outcomes . At last year's EULAR, we reported the successful maintenance of QOL over a period of 2 years in patients who maintained clinical remission or low disease activity long-term through treatment with biologics, as evaluated with the use of AIMS2 (Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales version 2).
Objectives Nurses at our clinic have been conducting a QOL survey with the use of AIMS2 since 2011 to investigate whether QOL has been maintained over the course of 3 years in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who reached their treatment goals with biologics.
Methods The subjects were RA patients who have been maintaining clinical remission or low disease activity through treatment with biologics at our clinic. A survey has been conducted since 2011 in this population, administering the AIMS2 questionnaire between the months of May and August each year.
Results The AIMS2 questionnaire was administered to 194 patients in 2011, 243 patients in 2012, and 237 patients in 2013. According to the most recent data, the breakdown of the biologics used in treatment was etanercept in 92 cases, infliximab in 43 cases, tocilizumab in 34 cases, adalimumab in 29 cases, abatacept in 23 cases, golimumab in 14 cases, and certolizumab pegol in 2 cases in 2013. When we compared mean values for each item of AIMS2 on a year-by-year basis, we found no major variation in any of the items, confirming that QOL was maintained over the 3-year period (no significant difference for any of the items in the comparison of 2011 vs. 2012 and 2011 vs. 2013).
Conclusions This study confirmed that QOL was also maintained long-term in patients who maintained clinical remission or low disease activity long-term through treatment with biologics. It is important to maintain the treatment goals set for each patient throughout the entire course of treatment for the disease. By proactively making contact with RA patients by administering QOL questionnaires such as AIMS2, nurses can discover abnormalities early on and sense changes in the efficacy of the treatment, and this ability to take corrective action early on is one factor in maintaining long-term QOL.
Yvonne van Eijk-Hustings, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2012;71:13-19
Disclosure of Interest None declared