Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.


Formal Joint Counts Are Performed at More Than 50 of Visits of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Usual Care outside of Clinical Research, by 64 of European Rheumatologists in 2010 Compared to 44 in 2003.

Pincus2,  Theodore, Keystone4,  Ed C., de Longueville3,  Marc, Costello1,  Sophie

Costello Medical Consulting
New York University Hospital for Joint Disease, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
UCB Pharma
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Purpose:

To analyze responses of European rheumatologists concerning the likelihood of performing of a formal swollen and tender joint count in 2010, and compare results to a similar estimate in 2003.

Methods:

About 300 rheumatologists attended a meeting in March 2010 sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. Most had participated in clinical trials of patients with RA. Keypads were available for instant recording of responses. A query was presented: "In patients with RA seen in usual care outside of clinical trials and other clinical research, how often do you perform a formal tender and swollen joint count?" Response options were 0, 1–24, 25–49, 50–74%, 75–99%, and 100% of the time. Results were instantly totaled. Results at this 2010 meeting were compared with results obtained from European rheumatologists in a similar study performed at a similar meeting in 2003 (Pincus T, Segurado OG. Ann Rheum Dis. 2006;65:820–2).

Results:

Overall, 143 responses were recorded in 2010 for the joint count; only 4% of rheumatologists responded that they "never" performed a formal joint count, 13% at 1–24% of visits, 19% at 25–49%, 16% at 50–74%, 23% at 75–99% of visits, and 25%"always." Each of the 4 countries with more than 5 responding rheumatologists – United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and Italy – included at least one respondent in 4 of the 6 categories. Results of a similar survey of 500 European rheumatologists in 2003 were 13%"never", 32% at 1–24% of visits, 11% at 25–49%, 14% at 50–74%, 16% at 75–99% of visits, and 14%"always." Overall, 64% of European rheumatologists in 2010 reported that they performed formal joint counts at >=50% of visits, compared to 44% in 2003.

Question for rheumatologists: For RA patients under your care (when not required for clinical trials or reimbursement), how often do you perform:

MeasureYearNever1–24%25–49%50–74%75–99%Always
Formal joint count200313%32%11%14%16%14%
Formal joint count20104%13%19%16%23%25%
Formal joint count200356%44%
Formal joint count201036%64%

Conclusion:

An increase in the likelihood of performing a formal joint count among physicians in treatment of patients with RA was reported in 2010 compared to 2003. Nonetheless, one-third of rheumatologists indicated that a formal joint count was performed at fewer than 50% of visits. Further educational efforts for rheumatologists might emphasize greater use of formal joint counts in standard clinical care.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Pincus, Theodore, Keystone, Ed C., de Longueville, Marc, Costello, Sophie; Formal Joint Counts Are Performed at More Than 50 of Visits of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Usual Care outside of Clinical Research, by 64 of European Rheumatologists in 2010 Compared to 44 in 2003. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :995
DOI: 10.1002/art.28762

Abstract Supplement

Meeting Menu

2010 ACR/ARHP