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OBJECTIVES: To gather expert opinion on the conduct of clinical trials that will facilitate regulatory review and approval of appropriate efficacious pharmacological treatments for hand osteoarthritis (OA), an area of high unmet clinical need. METHODS: The European Society on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal diseases (ESCEO) organized a working group under the auspices of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). RESULTS: This consensus guideline is intended to provide a reference tool for practice, and should allow for better standardization of the conduct of clinical trials in hand OA. Hand OA is a heterogeneous disease affecting different, and often multiple, joints of the thumb and fingers. It was recognized that the various phenotypes and limitations of diagnostic criteria may make the results of hand OA trials difficult to interpret. Nonetheless, practical recommendations for the conduct of clinical trials of both symptom and structure modifying drugs are outlined in this consensus statement, including guidance on study design, execution, and analysis. CONCLUSIONS: While the working group acknowledges that the methodology for performing clinical trials in hand OA will evolve as knowledge of the disease increases, it is hoped that this guidance will support the development of new pharmacological treatments targeting hand OA.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin arthritis rheum

Publication Date





1 - 8


Clinical trials, Guidelines, Hand osteoarthritis, Pharmacological treatment, Antirheumatic Agents, Clinical Trials as Topic, Consensus, Hand Joints, Humans, Osteoarthritis, Research Design