Monitoring response to therapy in rheumatoid arthritis - perspectives from the clinic

Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 2009;67(2):236-42.


The major objectives in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis are managing the symptoms of disease and preserving joint structure, with the ultimate goal of disease remission. Several independent studies have shown that treatment decisions driven by quantitative rather than subjective monitoring of disease activity result in significantly improved patient outcomes. Various assessment tools are available that measure both clinical and patient-reported outcomes. While some measurement tools may be more appropriate for use in clinical trials, several have been developed that are simple and practical to use, even in a busy clinic. As pivotal members of the multidisciplinary rheumatology healthcare provider team, the nurse and the rheumatologist play key roles in managing a patient's progress by closely monitoring their response to treatment. Here, we discuss optimal disease management founded on a multidisciplinary approach and provide an overview of some key measures for assessing patient response to treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Selection
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome