Drivers of patient global assessment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are close to remission: an analysis of 1588 patients

Ricardo J.O. Ferreira, Maxime Dougados, John R. Kirwan, Cátia Duarte, Maarten de Wit, Martin Soubrier, Bruno Fautrel, Tore K. Kvien, José A.P. da Silva, Laure Gossec, CoimbRA investigators, RAID investigators and COMEDRA investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: ACR/EULAR Boolean remission in RA is frequently not obtained solely due to a patient global assessment (PGA) >1/10 (a condition often designated as near-remission). This study aimed to assess which domains of impact could explain an elevated PGA in near-remission patients.

Methods: We performed an ancillary analysis of data from three cross-sectional studies in patients with established RA. Three disease activity states were defined: remission (tender and swollen joint counts, CRP and PGA all ⩽1), near-remission (tender and swollen joint counts, and CRP are all ≤1 but PGA >1) and non-remission. Physical and psychological domains were assessed using the RA Impact of Disease 0-10 (numeric rating scale) as explanatory factors of PGA. Univariable and multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to explain PGA.

Results: A total of 1588 patients (79.1% females) were analysed. The mean disease duration was 13.0 years (s.d. 9.8) and the 28-joint DAS with four variables was 3.2 (s.d. 1.4). Near-remission [mean PGA 3.6 (s.d. 1.9)] was more frequent (19.1%) than remission (12.3%). Scores of RA Impact of Disease domains were similar in near-remission and non-remission patients. In near-remission, PGA was explained (R2adjusted = 0.55) by pain (β = 0.29), function (β = 0.23), physical well-being (β = 0.19) and fatigue (β = 0.15).

Conclusion: Near-remission was more frequent than remission. These patients, despite having no signs of significant inflammation, report an impact of disease similar to the non-remission patients. PGA in near-remission seems to be driven by physical rather than psychological domains. Selecting the best therapy for these patients requires a better understanding of the meaning of PGA, both globally and in individual patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1578
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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