Outcomes measures are valuable tools for rheumatologists to assess the health status of patients with RA and they can improve clinical practice efficiency. However, deciding which measures to use – in addition to collecting and analyzing data – is a challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that can make the process worthwhile.
What Data to Gather?
What measures should be used in practice is “still an unsettled question,” says Timothy Harrington, MD, a rheumatologist at UW Health, the academic health system for the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
The Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) is one candidate for evaluating RA in the clinic, says Dr. Harrington, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. This measure is simple and durable and can separate the physician’s assessment from the patient’s.
Other examples of outcomes measures that clinicians use include joint scores, X-rays, laboratory tests, and physician and patient global assessment status, says Eric Schned, MD, a rheumatologist at Park Nicollet Clinic in Minneapolis and a TR editorial board member. The Disease Activity Score (DAS), and its variants, are other measures that are increasingly used in addition to other activity scores, he adds.| | | Next → | Single Page