Assessment of hand osteoarthritis (OA) is a challenge due to the involvement of multiple joints in the disease process and the complex interplay between thumb, fingers, wrists and hands. Symptoms of hand OA, commonly addressed by non-pharmacological interventions are pain, stiffness, reduced joint mobility, instability and reduced muscle function. Treatment of hand OA focuses on the relief of symptoms, improvement of dexterity, and the improvement of hand activities. In clinical research standardization of assessment is necessary to estimate the clinical burden of the disease and to evaluate the efficacy of (novel) treatment modalities. The OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Rheumatology) identified four core domains for clinical research in OA: pain, physical function and patient global assessment for symptom modifying trials and, in addition, imaging for structure modifying trials. Recently, a working group of the OMERACT proposed a preliminary set of core (sub) domains with preliminary instruments.1
In clinical practice assessment of hand OA guides setting of treatment goals and the treatment plan. In addition, structured assessment of OA can be used to monitor progress and to evaluate treatment results. In general, structured assessment in clinical practice comprises a combination of self-reported, objective and performance-based measures. The choice for a specific measurement instrument should be based on the purpose of assessment (for instance to provide information about possible targets for treatment) and on the psychometric qualities of measurement instruments. An overview of measures to assess hand OA in clinical practice and research will be presented and discussed.
Kloppenburg et al, J of Rheumatol 2015;42:2190–7
Disclosure of Interest None declared