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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2019 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Adherence in rheumatoid arthritis patients assessed with a validated Italian version of the 5-item Compliance Questionnaire for Rheumatology.

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Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine - DIMED, University of Padova, Italy.
Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine - DIMED, University of Padova, Italy.
Unit of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova, Italy.
Department of Psychology and Sports Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK.



The 5-item Compliance Questionnaire for Rheumatology (CQR5) proved reliability and validity in respect of identification of patients likely to be high adherers (HAs) to anti-rheumatic treatment, or low adherers (LAs), i.e. taking<80% of their medications correctly. The objective of the study was to validate an Italian version of CQR5 (I-CQR5) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and to investigate factors associated with high adherence.


RA patients, undergoing treatment with ≥1 self-administered conventional synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (csDMARD) or biological DMARD (bDMARD), were enrolled. The cross-cultural adaptation and validation of I-CQR5 followed standardised guidelines. I-CQR5 was completed by patients on one occasion. Data were subjected to factor analysis and Partial Credit model Parametrisation (PCM) to assess construct validity of I-CQR5. Analysis of factors associated with high adherence included demographic, social, clinical and treatment information. Factors achieving a p<0.10 in univariate analysis were included in multivariable analysis.


Among 604 RA patients, 274 patients were included in the validation and 328 in the analysis of factors associated with adherence. Factor analysis and PCM confirmed the construct validity and consistency of I-CQR5. HAs were found to be 109 (35.2%) of the patients. bDMARD treatment and employment were found to be independently associated with high adherence: OR 2.88 (1.36-6.1), p=0.006 and OR 2.36 (1.21-4.62), p=0.012, respectively.


Only one-third of RA patients were HAs according to I-CQR5. bDMARDs and employment status increased by almost 3-fold the likelihood of being highly adherent to the anti-rheumatic treatment.


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