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Before the introduction of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blocking agents, the management of ankylosing spondylitis was mainly limited to physical exercise and the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.1–3 To estimate the ankylosing spondylitis disease status in conventionally treated patients, we performed a community-based cross-sectional postal survey before TNF blocking agents became available in Austria.
Between January and April 2003, a questionnaire to assess ankylosing spondylitis disease activity, function and pain levels using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was distributed to all 1400 members of the Austrian ankylosing spondylitis patient’s association treated in the …
Competing interests: None declared.
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