Table 2

 Reorganisation of the items selected by the 12 experts into five domains

Domain IDomain IIDomain IIIDomain IVDomain V
RA activityFactors predictive of structural damagePatient characteristicsDMARD characteristicsPhysician’s characteristics
ALT, alanine transaminase; AST, aspartate transaminase; CRP, C reactive protein; DMARD, disease modifying antirheumatic drug; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.
Number of painful jointsCRP and/or ESRAgeRapidity of treatment actionPersonal experience
Number of swollen jointsStructural damage presentDesire to conceive within the yearEfficacy against inflammation
Overall severityRheumatoid factorMenopause/contraceptionEfficacy against structural damage
    Patient’s assessmentPersonal medical history, generalInteraction with comedications
    Doctor’s assessmentDrug intoleranceConstraints of monitoring
Overall intensity of painComorbidities
Morning stiffness Hypertension
Night time awakening Liver (AST, ALT, hepatitis B/C serology)
Functional disability Kidney (creatinine, urine dipstick)
ESR/CRP Lung (chest x ray)
 Alcohol abuse
 Haematological anomalies
Patient’s acceptance of treatment
Patient’s acceptance of therapeutic risk
Patient’s willingness to submit to rigorous follow up