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The ASsessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) working group is an international assembly of experts in the field of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The group consists of rheumatologists, clinical epidemiologists, and patients, with a multinational representation of participants. The mission of ASAS is to support and promote the study of AS. This includes:
increasing awareness and promoting early diagnosis of the disease
development and validation of assessment tools
evaluation of treatment modalities in order to promote clinical research with the ultimate goal to improve outcomes.
The major focus of ASAS, thus far, has been on outcome assessment including the development, validation, and standardisation of instruments.
STRUCTURE OF ASAS
ASAS began in 1995 as an informal group. However, during the ensuing years there was a growing interest in the field of AS and in the work done by ASAS. This necessitated a more formal structure. At present, ASAS consists of an executive steering committee, an advisory board, members, and corporate partners. The following persons form the steering committee: Désirée van der Heijde (president), Maxime Dougados (vice-president), Jochen Sieper (treasurer), John Davis (secretary), Jürgen Braun, and Sjef van der Linden. Persons with a dedicated interest in AS, as evident from past or present performance in clinical care, research, teaching, or the conduction of studies in the field of spondyloarthritides, can apply for membership. Members are expected to be active participants taking part in a workshop or in one of the questionnaires at least once every calender year. Meetings are organised in concurrence with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and American …
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