Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate and validate individual variables and to develop a composite score for disease activity measurement in patients with reactive arthritis (REA).
Methods: In the first cross-sectional part, the clinical and laboratory evaluation of 45 patients was used to elaborate the most important individual disease activity measures. In the second prospective part, these variables as well as a composite score for disease activity measurement of REA were prospectively validated in 23 patients at two points in time.
Results: The following variables emerged as the most useful for the composite measure: number of swollen and tender joints, patient's pain and global assessment, and C-reactive protein. The score was calculated by simple addition of the individual figures.
Conclusion: DAREA constitutes a reliable score which can easily be assessed on a day-to-day office work basis.