Table 1

Items important to consider in the definition of rheumatoid arthritis flare (new onset or increase in disease) elicited during patient semistructured interviews and the Delphi consensus method for physicians

Patient perspectivePhysician perspective
Selected itemsFrequency (%)Frequency (%)
Joint swelling50Joint swelling100
Severe or unbearable joint pain61Joint pain level100
Night awakening by pain81Night awakening by pain92
Daily dose of analgesics26Daily dose of analgesics77
Fatigue93Morning stiffness92
Could not ‘do a thing’18Patient global assessment of arthritis100
Increased need for help86C-reactive protein level or erythrocyte sedimentation rate100
Withdrawal, wish to stay alone19Daily dose of steroids77
Feeling depressed74
Irritability53
Non-selected items
Extra-articular manifestations62
Disability, work limitation46
Joint imaging (eg, ultrasound)38
Physician global assessment38
Feeling of an arthritic flare
  • ‘Non-selected items’ refer to items not selected during the last round of the Delphi process in the list devoted to the rheumatologists' perspective, as fewer than 75% of rheumatologists accepted them in this round (62%, 46%, 38%). Conversely, all attributes identified during the analysis of the semistructured interviews were kept in the patient's list.