Health-related quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis: therapeutic education plus pharmacological treatment versus pharmacological treatment only

Rheumatol Int. 2006 Jun;26(8):752-7. doi: 10.1007/s00296-005-0071-6. Epub 2005 Oct 25.


Objective: To determine whether therapeutic education added to conventional drug therapy reduced disability and pain in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Fourty-three patients with RA, 29F/14 M, were included in a randomized, controlled trial and assigned to a control group receiving conventional pharmacological treatment only (n=21), or an intervention group receiving therapeutic education added to conventional pharmacological treatment (n=22). The main outcome variable was self-reported disability on the Stanford health assessment questionnaire (HAQ).

Results: At 18 months, patients in the intervention group had less disability (HAQ), pain intensity, number of tender and swollen joints, and patient's and physician's global assessments (p=0.003, 0.031, 0.003, 0.001, 0.014, and 0.004, respectively) compared with baseline, and improvements in disability and number of tender and swollen joints (p=0.024, 0.040, and 0.003, respectively), compared with controls.

Conclusions: Patients receiving pharmacological treatment and therapeutic education had a better evolution than those receiving only pharmacological treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents