Health-related quality of life outcomes of adalimumab for patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: results from a randomized multicenter study

J Rheumatol. 2012 Jan;39(1):63-72. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.101161. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


Objective: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with significant impairments in health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We evaluated patient-reported outcomes including HRQOL outcomes following adalimumab plus methotrexate (MTX) therapy in patients with early RA.

Methods: PREMIER was a phase III, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, active-comparator clinical trial in early RA. Patients aged ≥ 18 years were randomly assigned to receive adalimumab 40 mg every other week (eow) plus weekly MTX, weekly MTX, or adalimumab 40 mg eow for 104 weeks. American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria were used to evaluate clinical efficacy and response. Outcomes were assessed using the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), Short-Form 6 Dimension (SF-6D), visual analog scale (VAS) assessments of global disease activity (patient's global assessment; PtGA) and pain, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F), and Health Utility Index Mark 3 (HUI-3).

Results: Of 799 patients enrolled, 268 received adalimumab plus MTX, 257 received MTX monotherapy, and 274 received adalimumab monotherapy. Patients treated with adalimumab plus MTX demonstrated significant baseline to Week 104 improvements in HAQ-DI (p < 0.0001), SF-36 Physical Component Summary (p < 0.0001), 4 SF-36 domains [physical function (p < 0.0001), bodily pain (p <0.0001), vitality (p = 0.0139), role limitations-physical (p = 0.0005)], SF-6D (p = 0.0152), VAS-PtGA (p < 0.0001), VAS-pain (p < 0.0001), FACIT-F (p < 0.0001), and HUI-3 (p = 0.0034) scores versus patients treated with MTX monotherapy. Both SF-6D and HUI-3 were found to be sensitive preference-based measures for assessing the effects of treatment on multidimensional function. No clinically meaningful differences between adalimumab and MTX monotherapy groups were observed for most measures. For each measure, there was significant association between HRQOL improvement and ACR clinical response.

Conclusion: Adalimumab plus MTX significantly improved physical functioning and HRQOL in patients with early RA over 2 years of treatment. ( identifier NCT00195663).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Adalimumab
  • Methotrexate

Associated data