Table 1

Demographic details, initial healthcare professional (HCP) of contact and extents of each level of delay in patients with newly presenting rheumatoid arthritis seen at 10 European rheumatology centres

BerlinBirminghamHeraklionLundPragueStockholmUmeåViennaWarsawZurich
Total number of patients50504248505550385049
Age (years) median (IQR)44 (35–59)55 (44–69)53 (43–62)58 (45–68)56 (40–60)59 (44–68)55 (42–67)56 (47–66)55 (47–62)53 (36–62)
Gender (female), n (%)35 (70)33 (66)36 (86)35 (73)35 (70)39 (71)36 (72)29 (76)41 (82)37 (76)
Initial HCP, n (%)
 General practitioner26 (52)49 (98)2 (5)46 (96)35 (70)49 (89)47 (94)25 (66)36 (72)46 (94)
 Rheumatologist2 (4)012 (29)04 (8)001 (3)7 (14)0
 Internist2 (4)09 (21)01 (2)3 (5)01 (3)3 (6)1 (2)
 Company health service000001 (2)3 (6)000
 Orthopaedic surgeon13 (26)019 (45)09 (18)1 (2)08 (21)2 (4)1 (2)
 Emergency department5 (10)1 (2)000001 (3)00
 Neurologist000000001 (2)0
 Not recorded/other2 (4)002 (4)1 (2)1 (2)02 (5)1 (2)1 (2)
Level of delay (weeks) median (IQR)
 Delay 12 (1–8)12 (3–64)*22 (8–72)8 (4–8)8 (2–12)4 (2–8)8 (2–17)2 (1–10)4 (1–8)8 (4–13)
 Delay 22 (1–4)1 (<1–1)*12 (6–63)2 (1–2)<1 (<1–2)1 (<1–2)1 (<1–2)<1 (<1–1)*2 (1–8)1 (1–2)
 Delay 310 (3–23)2 (1–5)*3 (<1–4)8 (4–12)10 (3–52)2 (1–8)8 (2–20)8 (2–26)12 (2–48)8 (4–15)
 Delay 411 (4–14)4 (2–6)4 (<1–8)3 (2–4)4 (2–8)3 (2–4)4 (2–5)1 (1–2)4 (1–8)2 (1–3)
Total delay (weeks) median (IQR)§27 (19–43)21 (13–63)38 (16–192)22 (15–32)25 (12–77)16 (9–27)25 (14–53)16 (7–65)*35 (14–74)20 (13–36)
Patients seen ≤12 weeks after symptom onset, n (%)§5 (10)9 (19)6 (14)4 (8)14 (28)23 (42)7 (14)14 (38)11 (22)11 (22)
  • Delay 1: delay from symptom onset to request to see initial healthcare professional (HCP) of contact. Delay 2: delay from request to see initial HCP of contact to assessment by that HCP. Delay 3: delay from initial assessment by HCP to referral to a rheumatologist. Delay 4: delay from referral to a rheumatologist to assessment by that rheumatologist.

  • * Data on this variable are not available for one patient.

  • Where the initial HCP was a rheumatologist, data on this aspect of delay are included under delay 4.

  • No data for this variable if initial HCP of contact was a rheumatologist.

  • § Calculated for patients for whom data on delay at all levels were available.

  • Data on this variable not available for two patients.