Agreement between rheumatologist visit and lay interviewer telephone survey for screening for rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy

Joint Bone Spine. 2004 Jan;71(1):44-50. doi: 10.1016/S1297-319X(03)00092-7.


Objective: To evaluate agreement between a rheumatologist visit and a telephone interview by a patient organization member, regarding the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or spondyloarthropathy (SpA) and the classification criteria for these two conditions.

Method: Patients underwent a standardized interview and physical examination by hospital-based rheumatologists, who diagnosed RA in 230 cases, SpA in 175, and other conditions (controls) in 195. Members of patient organizations then used a standardized questionnaire to interview the patients by telephone about their diagnosis and about 1987 ACR classification criteria for RA and the ESSG criteria for SpA.

Results: Agreement between the two sources of data was poor for the classification criteria but satisfactory for the diagnosis (kappa, 0.84 (0.81-0.87) for RA and 0.78 (0.75-0.81) for SpA).

Conclusion: Standardized telephone interviews conducted by patient organization members accurately identify the diagnosis made by rheumatologists based on a physical examination and medical record review, whereas agreement is poor regarding classification criteria for RA and SpA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Office Visits*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spondylarthropathies / diagnosis*
  • Spondylarthropathies / epidemiology
  • Spondylarthropathies / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires