Which patient reported outcome domains are important to the rheumatologists while assessing patients with rheumatoid arthritis?

Academic Article


  • Background: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) aid in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) management, but it is not well understood which measures would be most relevant to the rheumatologists for making treatment decisions. Methods: We recruited rheumatologists nationally to participate in moderated structured group teleconference discussions using the nominal group technique. Participants in each group generated lists of the elements from patient's history and signs that they use to make treatment recommendations for RA. Each participant then selected the three most important elements from the generated list. The results of each group were then combined and summarized. Results: Twenty-five rheumatologists participated in 4 groups (group size ranged from 4 to 8) and 150 available ranking votes across all groups. The statements generated across the 4 groups were categorized into 13 topics (including symptoms, physical function, comorbidities, social aspects, physical findings, response to treatment, treatment adherence, pain management, side effects, tests, access to care, contraception, and organ involvement), 10 of which received ranking votes. Symptoms received the highest ranking (46% of votes), followed by physical function (16%), and physical findings (13%). Among the unranked topics, social aspects had the highest number of statements (8 statements). Conclusion: Rheumatologists highly valued patient-reported RA symptoms and physical function to inform their treatment decisions, even above objective data such as physical findings and test results. These results can guide the selection of validated PRO measures to assess these domains to inform the clinical care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Published In

  • BMC Rheumatology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jagpal A; O'Beirne R; Morris MS; Johnson B; Willig J; Yun H; Cherrington AL; Fraenkel L; Curtis JR; Safford MM
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 1