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Arthritis Res Ther. 2004;6(6):R505-13. Epub 2004 Sep 14.

Percentile benchmarks in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Health Assessment Questionnaire as a quality indicator (QI).

Author information

  • 1Clinical Research Center of Reading, West Reading, PA, USA. Eswar_krishnan@hotmail.com

Abstract

Physicians are in need of a simple objective, standardized tool to compare their patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as a group and individually, with national standards. The Disability Index of the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ-DI) is a simple, robust tool that can fulfill these needs. However, use of this tool as a quality indicator (QI) is hampered by the unavailability of national reference values or benchmarks based on large, multicentric, heterogenous longitudinal patient cohorts. We utilized the 20-year longitudinal prospective data from 11 data banks of Arthritis Rheumatism and Aging Medical Information to calculate reference values for HAQ-DI. Overall, 6436 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were longitudinally followed for 32,324 person-years over the 20 years from 1981 to 2000. There were 64,647 HAQ-DI measurements, with an average of 19 measurements per person. Overall, 75% of patients were women and 89% were Caucasian; the median baseline age was 58.4 years and the median baseline HAQ-DI was 1.13. Few patients were treated with biologics. The HAQ-DI values had a Gaussian distribution except for the approximately 10% of observations showing no disability. Percentile benchmarks allow disability outcomes to be compared and contrasted between different patient populations. Reference values for the HAQ-DI, presented here numerically and graphically, can be used in clinical practice as a QI measure to track functional disability outcomes and to measure response to therapy, and by arthritis patients in self-management programs.

PMID:
15535828
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1064863
Free PMC Article

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