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ASessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) international working group: a model for psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis?
  1. D van der Heijde1,
  2. J Braun2,3,
  3. R Landewé1,
  4. J Davis4,
  5. J Sieper2,5,
  6. S van der Linden1,
  7. M Dougados6
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Caphri Research Institute, University of Maastricht, the Netherlands
  2. 2Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne, Germany
  3. 3Medical Department I, Rheumatology, Benjamin Franklin Hospital, Free University Berlin, Germany
  4. 4Division of Rheumatology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, USA
  5. 5German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin, Germany
  6. 6Department of Rheumatology, Hopital Cochin, University of Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to:
    D van der Heijde
    Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Maastricht, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, the Netherlands;

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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.


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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