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Rheumatol Int. 2015 Mar;35(3):445-58. doi: 10.1007/s00296-014-3196-7. Epub 2014 Dec 28.

Consensus statement on a framework for the management of comorbidity and extra-articular manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Madrilenian Society of Rheumatology, Madrid, Spain.


The objective of the study was to develop evidence-based and practical recommendations for the detection and management of comorbidity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in daily practice. We used a modified RAND/UCLA methodology and systematic review (SR). The process map and specific recommendations, based on the SR, were established in discussion groups. A two round Delphi survey permitted (1) to prioritize the recommendations, (2) to refine them, and (3) to evaluate their agreement by a large group of users. The recommendations cover: (1) which comorbidities should be investigated in clinical practice at the first and following visits (including treatments, risk factors and patient's features that might interfere with RA management); (2) how and when should comorbidities and risk factors be investigated; (3) how to manage specific comorbidities, related or non-related to RA, including major adverse events of RA treatment, and to promote health (general and musculoskeletal health); and (4) specific recommendations to assure an integral care approach for RA patients with any comorbidity, such as health care models for chronic inflammatory patients, early arthritis units, relationships with primary care, specialized nursing care, and self-management. These recommendations are intended to guide rheumatologists, patients, and other stakeholders, on the early diagnosis and management of comorbidity in RA, in order to improve disease outcomes.

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