Table 7

 Some misconceptions concerning use of patient questionnaires in clinical care

MisconceptionMore accurate conception
Validity
    Unrelated to lab, radiographsCorrelated with lab, radiograph, joint count
    Less predictive than …As or more predictive than …
    Less sensitive than …As or more sensitive in clinical trials and care
    Less reproducible than …As or more reproducible as lab tests, radiographs
Consequences
    No need to examine jointsAll joints should be examined, but formal joint count does not add important data
    Replace patient historyEnhance patient history
    Try to be as complete as possible—extensive patient data neededTry to be as pragmatic as possible—better to obtain 80% of ideal data in 100% of patients than ideal data in 5%
    MDHAQ score dictates stop or start drugOne of many measures in clinical decisions, ESR, joint examination, etc.
Logistics
    Takes extra timeSaves time for rheumatologist
    Burden for patients5–10 minutes in waiting room
    Must score responses“Eyeball” data in 5–10 seconds
    Need software, databaseWhy? Are labs in the database?
    Focus on instrumentFocus on patient