Outcome measures in inflammatory rheumatic diseases
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Rheumatology, 6500HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:244 doi:10.1186/ar2745Published: 14 October 2009
Inflammatory rheumatic diseases are generally multifaceted disorders and, therefore, measurement of multiple outcomes is relevant to most of these diseases. Developments in outcome measures in the rheumatic diseases are promoted by the development of successful treatments. Outcome measurement will increasingly deal with measurement of low levels of disease activity and avoidance of disease consequences. It is an advantage for patient management and knowledge transfer if the same outcomes are used in practice and in trials. Continuous measures of change are generally the most powerful and, therefore, are preferred as primary outcomes in trials. For daily clinical practice, outcome measures should reflect the patients' state and have to be easily derivable. The objective of this review is to describe recent developments in outcome measures for inflammatory rheumatic diseases for trials and clinical practice, with an emphasis on rheumatoid arthritis.