Objective: To compare the functional status and well-being of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were randomly assigned to receive placebo, etanercept 10 mg, or etanercept 25 mg during a 26-week, phase III, double-blind clinical trial.
Background: No single indicator of disease activity, severity, or therapeutic efficacy has been established for RA. During the past decade, health-related quality of life, a multidimensional way to assess physical, emotional, and social aspects of a disease or its treatment, has become an important outcome in RA studies and in assessments of RA drug therapies.
Methods: A total of 234 patients completed the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) (n = 48 patients), items assessing energy and mental health from the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS), and a single-item rating scale assessing current health (feeling thermometer) at baseline and several times during 6 months.
Results: Significant improvements from baseline to last assessment were reported with etanercept versus placebo and in the HAQ Disability Index score (ie, the total HAQ score) and all 8 HAQ categories (P < 0.05), with the exception of grip. Significant improvements with etanercept in the MOS energy and mental health subscales, current health (from the feeling thermometer), and mental and physical function components of the SF-36 were reported (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Patients receiving 10- or 25-mg doses of etanercept reported significantly better functional status and well-being than did patients receiving placebo.