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Ann Rheum Dis. 2009 Apr;68(4):497-501. doi: 10.1136/ard.2008.089441. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Development and initial validation of a screening questionnaire for psoriatic arthritis: the Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Screen (ToPAS).

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Toronto Western Research Institute, Psoriatic Arthritis Program, Centre for Prognosis Studies in The Rheumatic Diseases, University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To develop and validate a psoriatic arthritis (PsA) screening questionnaire: the Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Screen (ToPAS).


The ToPAS was developed through review of items seen in patients with PsA and evaluation by patients with PsA and patients with other rheumatological conditions, and was administered to consecutive consenting patients attending five clinics: PsA, psoriasis, general dermatology, general rheumatology (excluding PsA patients) and family medicine. All patients were assessed by a rheumatologist according to a standard protocol. A three-step analysis strategy was adopted: a stepwise logistic regression to identify the questions most important in discriminating between those with and without PsA; a logistic model was fitted to three clinically relevant domains for PsA: skin, joints and nails; and a simpler weighting of each of the domains used in step 2. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were obtained based on these various models.


In all, there were 134 patients from the PsA clinic, 123 with psoriasis, 118 from dermatology, 135 from rheumatology and 178 from family medicine. A simplified discriminatory score based on the skin, joint and nail domains gave results comparable to other methods with an observed overall sensitivity and specificity, based on a single cut point, of 86.8% and 93.1%. When the patients with PsA were compared with each of the other four patient groups individually, the sensitivity and specificity of the ToPAS were: psoriasis 89.1%, 86.3%; dermatology 91.9%, 95.2%; rheumatology 92.6%, 85.7%; and family medicine 90.4%, 100%.


Our simplified index is very good at classifying those who are not diagnosed with PsA and those who are diagnosed with PsA.

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