The importance of the patients' experience of RA compared with clinical measures of disease activity.
Improvements in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment have led to an increased focus on specialized and validated outcome measures, resulting in a decrease in the use of subjective assessments such as patient perceptions. However, to achieve optimal outcomes in the treatment of RA, there is a need to balance clinical goals with those that may be more important to patients. Although the treatment goals of physicians and patients are generally aligned, the framework in which these goals are expressed differs widely, and there are pronounced differences in how patients and physicians view their interactions regarding the decision-making process about treatment and information sharing. Detailed discussion between the physician and the patient regarding the patient's perspectives can lead to valuable insights into the patient's unmet needs from treatment as well as enhancement of the physician-patient relationship and an overall improvement in patients' quality of life.