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Follow-up standards and treatment targets in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Results of a questionnaire at the EULAR 2008
  1. Monika Schoels (monika.schoels{at}
  1. 2nd Dept. of Medicine, Hietzing Hospital, Vienna, Austria
    1. Daniel Aletaha (daniel.aletaha{at}
    1. Medical University of Vienna, Austria
      1. Josef S Smolen (josef.smolen{at}
      1. Medical University of Vienna, Austria
        1. Johannes WJ Bijlsma (j.w.j.bijlsma{at}
        1. Utrecht University, Netherlands
          1. Gerd R Burmester (gerd.burmester{at}
          1. Charite University Hospital, Germany
            1. Ferry C Breedveld (f.c.breedveld{at}
            1. University Hospital Leiden, Netherlands
              1. Maurizio Cutolo (mcutolo{at}
              1. Research Laboratory and Academic Clinical Unit of Rheumatology, Italy
                1. Bernard Combe (b-combe{at}
                1. CHU Lapeyronie, France
                  1. Maxime Dougados (m.doug{at}
                  1. Paris, France
                    1. Paul Emery (p.emery{at}
                    1. Leeds University, United Kingdom
                      1. Joachim Kalden (jkalden{at}
                      1. Erlangen University, Germany
                        1. Edward Keystone (edkeystone{at}
                        1. Mount Sinai, Canada
                          1. Tore K Kvien (t.k.kvien{at}
                          1. Oslo University, Norway
                            1. Emilio Martin Mola (emartinmola.hulp{at}
                            1. Salud Madrid, Spain
                              1. Carlomaurizio Montecucco (montecucco{at}
                              1. University of Pavia, Policlinico S. Matteo, Italy
                                1. Maarten De Wit (martinusdewit{at}
                                1. EULAR, Netherlands


                                  Background: Therapeutic approaches to rheumatoid arthritis have undergone significant changes. The importance of tight control and early therapy, rapidly altered if goals are not achieved, is supported by evidence. However, it is unknown to which extent these insights are accepted by practitioners in clinical practice.

                                  Objective: We intended to learn about standard follow-up and treatment practices, and rheumatologists’ aims in the care of RA patients.

                                  Methods: We conducted a survey at the 2008 EULAR Congress.

                                  Results: Most specialists who were mainly from Europe and Latin America are well informed about recent concepts: Two thirds specified remission as a major goal. The experts attempted to reach treatment aims within 12-14 weeks, altering therapy otherwise. Disease activity assessment by composite measures is performed by a majority, although one third preferentially relied upon their judgement.

                                  Conclusion: These results suggest the acceptance of ambitious treatment concepts in practice. While voluntary surveys have limitations, the answers reflect wide-spread adoption of desirable standards of care.

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