Purpose: To study patterns and predictors of medication use and laboratory monitoring in gout.
Methods: In a cohort of veterans with a diagnosis of gout prescribed allopurinol, colchicine or probenecid, quality of care was assessed by examining adherence to the following evidence-based recommendations: (1) whether patients starting a new allopurinol prescription (a) received continuous allopurinol, (b) received colchicine prophylaxis, (c) achieved the target uric acid level of ⩽6 mg/dl; and (2) whether doses were adjusted for renal insufficiency. The association of sociodemographic characteristics, healthcare utilisation and comorbidity with the recommendations was examined by logistic/Poisson regression.
Results: Of the 643 patients with gout receiving a new allopurinol prescription, 297 (46%) received continuous allopurinol, 66 (10%) received colchicine prophylaxis and 126 (20%) reached the target uric acid level of ⩽6 mg/dl. During episodes of renal insufficiency, appropriate dose reduction/discontinuation of probenecid was done in 24/31 episodes (77%) and of colchicine in 36/52 episodes (69%). Multivariable regression showed that higher outpatient utilisation, more rheumatology care and lower comorbidity were associated with better quality of care; more rheumatology clinic or primary care visits were associated with less frequent allopurinol discontinuation; more total outpatient visit days or most frequent visits to a rheumatology clinic were associated with a higher likelihood of receiving colchicine prophylaxis; and a lower Charlson Comorbidity Index or more outpatient visit days were associated with higher odds of reaching the target uric acid level of ⩽6 mg/dl.
Conclusions: Important variations were found in patterns of medication use and monitoring in patients with gout with suboptimal care. A concerted effort is needed to improve the overall care of gout.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests: None.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.