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Sensitivity to change of AIMS2 and AIMS2-SF components in comparison to M-HAQ and VAS-pain
  1. E Taal1,
  2. J J Rasker2,
  3. R P Riemsma3
  1. 1Department of Communication Studies, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, Medisch Spectrum Twente Enschede, Netherlands
  3. 3Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr E Taal
    University of Twente, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, Department of Communication Studies, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, Netherlands;


Objective: To examine sensitivity to change of Dutch versions of AIMS2 (arthritis impact measurement scales–2) and AIMS2-SF (short form) components, in comparison with M-HAQ (modified health assessment questionnaire) and the 100 mm visual analogue scale for pain (VAS-pain) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: 218 patients participated in a study on patient education. Participants completed the Dutch AIMS2, M-HAQ, and VAS-pain at baseline and after one year; 165 completed both assessments. The education programme did not have any effect on health status. Patients were classified according to change over one year in their responses to the AIMS2 question about general health perception: improved health (n = 32), no change (n = 101), and poorer health (n = 32). Changes in scores over one year were tested with paired t tests, and standardised response means were calculated for AIMS2 and AIMS2-SF components, M-HAQ total score, and VAS-pain in the three classifications of change in health perception.

Results: AIMS2 and AIMS2-SF physical, symptom, and affect components showed similar sensitivity to change. The physical and symptom components performed better than M-HAQ and VAS-pain. AIMS2 and AIMS2-SF social interaction and role components were not sensitive to changes in general health perception. The role component was only applicable in 63 patients, because the others were unemployed, disabled, or retired.

Conclusions: AIMS2-SF is a good alternative to the AIMS2 long form for the assessment of health status in rheumatoid arthritis, and is preferable to M-HAQ and VAS-pain. Use of the AIMS2-SF makes it easier and less costly to collect data and reduces the burden on patients.

  • AIMS2, arthritis impact measurement scales–2
  • AIMS2-SF, arthritis impact measurement scales–2, short form
  • M-HAQ, modified health assessment questionnaire
  • MPQ, McGill pain questionnaire
  • SF-36, short form 36-item general health questionnaire
  • SRM, standardised response mean
  • VAS, visual analogue scale
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • AIMS2-SF
  • outcome assessment
  • sensitivity to change
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