Evaluation of costs in rheumatic diseases: a literature review

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 1999 Mar;11(2):104-9. doi: 10.1097/00002281-199903000-00004.


The aim of our review was to examine recently published cost-evaluations presenting originally developed data in rheumatic conditions. We identified 21 articles: 9 presenting original data on rheumatoid arthritis and/or osteoarthritis; 7 focusing on other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, scleroderma, Lyme disease, and fibromyalgia; and 5 assessing costs in total knee and hip arthroplasty. Most of the studies originated in the United States. In contrast to earlier reviews in this journal, fewer studies focused on only pharmacoeconomic aspects. In reviewing these studies, we found a lack of standardization in cost-assessment leading to a limited comparability of study results. As main tasks to improve the evidence achieved by performing cost-evaluations in clinical settings, we identified a standardization of main cost-components that should be covered by each clinical trial and the assessment of validity, reliability, and comparability of different data sources used to collect cost-data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / economics*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / economics*
  • United States