Comparison of four articular indices for use in clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis: patient, order and observer variation

J Rheumatol. 1991 May;18(5):661-5.


Using a Latin square design, 4 patients were examined by 4 rheumatologists. Joints were scored for tenderness and inflammation. The Ritchie, the index of the American Rheumatism Association (ARA), the Hart modified Ritchie and a simplified Lansbury index were calculated from the raw data. The results suggest that an articular index consisting of a simple count of tender joints (Hart modified Ritchie) or a simple count of tender or swollen joints (ARA index) are the most reproducible with multiple observers. We suggest that these indices would be most appropriate for multicenter clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Joints / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index*