Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Arthritis Research & Therapy and BioMed Central.

Commentary

The validity of a rheumatoid arthritis medical records-based index of severity compared with the DAS28

Robert Landewé* and Désirée van der Heijde

Author Affiliations

University Hospital Maastricht, Department of Internal Medicine/Rheumatology, Maastricht, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:107  doi:10.1186/ar1937


See related research by Sato et al. in this issue http://arthritis-research.com/content/8/3/R57

Published: 31 March 2006

Abstract

Outcome measures play an extremely important role in clinical trials and observational research. Outcome measures for rheumatoid arthritis cover a whole array of domains, ranging from measures describing the inflammatory process to measures describing the ultimate consequences of long-term disease, such as joint damage, physical function and quality of life. There is a scientific need to be able to quantify what is called the 'severity of rheumatoid arthritis', so that patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be clustered according to their propensity to develop an unfavourable outcome. It is a challenge to find an appropriate measure for severity. One attempt has been the development of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Medical Record-Based Index of Severity. This commentary elaborates on how such a measure of severity should be validated to determine whether it is appropriate for practical use.