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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000 May;39(5):542-9.

Clinical quality management in rheumatoid arthritis: putting theory into practice. Swiss Clinical Quality Management in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology and Institute for Physical Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


Clinical quality management (CQM) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) aims to reduce inflammatory activity and pain in the short term, and damage, and consequently disability, in the long term. Within CQM as used in Switzerland rheumatologists are provided with a measurement feedback system with which they can regularly follow their patients. Inflammatory activity is measured with the Disease Activity Score (DAS28) and the Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index questionnaire (RADAI), damage with an X-ray score and disability with the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Feedback is used to optimize therapy, which in the short term allows the activity of the inflammatory process to be adjusted or 'titrated'. In the long term, the therapy result for the individual patient is monitored by the course of disability and damage. In this paper we present a series of cases to illustrate the usefulness of the CQM system in the management of individual RA patients. CQM in RA may be helpful when making decisions about adjustment of treatment, and to document and communicate these decisions based on quantitative data.

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