QUEST-RA: quantitative clinical assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis seen in standard rheumatology care in 15 countries.
Sokka T., Kautiainen H., Toloza S., Mäkinen H., Verstappen SM., Lund Hetland M., Naranjo A., Baecklund E., Herborn G., Rau R., Cazzato M., Gossec L., Skakic V., Gogus F., Sierakowski S., Bresnihan B., Taylor P., McClinton C., Pincus T.
OBJECTIVE: To conduct a cross-sectional review of non-selected consecutive outpatients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as part of standard clinical care in 15 countries for an overview of the characteristics of patients with RA. METHODS: The review included current disease activity using data from clinical assessment and a patient self-report questionnaire, which was translated into each language. Data on demographic, disease and treatment-related variables were collected and analysed using descriptive statistics. Variation in disease activity on DAS28 (disease activity score on 28-joint count) within and between countries was graphically analysed. A median regression model was applied to analyse differences in disease activity between countries. RESULTS: Between January 2005 and October 2006, the QUEST-RA (Quantitative Patient Questionnaires in Standard Monitoring of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis) project included 4363 patients from 48 sites in 15 countries; 78% were female, >90% Caucasian, mean age was 57 years and mean disease duration was 11.5 years. More than 80% of patients had been treated with methotrexate in all but three countries. Overall, patients had an active disease with a median DAS28 of 4.0, with a significant variation between countries (p<0.001). Among 42 sites with >50 patients included, low disease activity of DAS28 <or=3.2 was found in the majority of patients in seven sites in five countries; in eight sites in five other countries, >50% of patients had high disease activity of DAS28 >5.1. CONCLUSIONS: This international multicentre cross-sectional database provides an overview of clinical status and treatments of patients with RA in standard clinical care in 2005-6 including countries that are infrequently involved in clinical research projects.