Background: Osteoarthritis of the hands is a prevalent musculoskeletal disease with a considerable effect on patients' lives, but knowledge and research results in the field of hand osteoarthritis are limited. Therefore, the Disease Characteristics in Hand OA (DICHOA) initiative was founded in early 2005 with the aim of addressing key issues and facilitating research into hand osteoarthritis.
Objective: To review and discuss current knowledge on hand osteoarthritis with regard to aetiopathogenesis, diagnostic criteria, biomarkers and clinical outcome measures.
Methods: Recommendations were made based on a literature review.
Results: Outcomes of hand osteoarthritis should be explored, including patient perspective on the separate components of disease activity, damage and functioning. All imaging techniques should be cross-validated for hand osteoarthritis with clinical status, including disease activity, function and performance, biomarkers and long-term outcome. New imaging modalities are available and need scoring systems and validation. The role of biomarkers in hand osteoarthritis has to be defined.
Conclusion: Future research in hand osteoarthritis is warranted.