Patient-reported outcomes of baricitinib in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and no or limited prior disease-modifying antirheumatic drug treatment

Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Sep 18;19(1):208. doi: 10.1186/s13075-017-1410-1.


Background: This study evaluates patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in a double-blind, phase III study of baricitinib as monotherapy or combined with methotrexate (MTX) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with no or minimal prior conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and naïve to biological DMARDs.

Methods: Patients were randomized 4:3:4 to MTX administered once weekly (N = 210), baricitinib monotherapy (4 mg once daily (QD), N = 159), or combination of baricitinib (4 mg QD) and MTX (baricitinib + MTX, N = 215). PROs included the Patient's Global Assessment of Disease Activity (PtGA), patient's assessment of pain, Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F), duration of morning joint stiffness (MJS), worst joint pain, worst tiredness, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment-Rheumatoid Arthritis (WPAI-RA), Short Form 36 version 2, Acute (SF-36); and EuroQol 5-Dimensions (EQ-5D) Health State Profile. Comparisons were assessed with analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and logistic regression models.

Results: Compared to MTX, patients in both baricitinib groups reported greater improvement (p ≤ 0.01) in HAQ-DI, PtGA, pain, fatigue, worst join pain, SF-36 physical component score, and EQ-5D at weeks 24 and 52. For the SF-36 mental component score, patients in both baricitinib groups reported statistically significant improvements (p ≤ 0.01) at week 52 compared to MTX-treated patients. Statistically significant improvements (p ≤ 0.05) were observed with the WPAI-RA for the baricitinib groups vs. MTX at week 24 and for the WPAI-RA daily activity and work productivity measures for baricitinib + MTX at week 52.

Conclusions: In this study, baricitinib alone or in combination with MTX, when used as initial therapy, resulted in significant improvement compared to MTX in the majority of the pre-specified PRO measures.

Trial registration:, NCT01711359 . Registered on 18 October 2012.

Keywords: Baricitinib; HAQ-DI; Health-related quality of life; JAK inhibitor; PRO; RA; Rheumatoid; health status indicators; tsDMARD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Purines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Azetidines
  • Purines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Sulfonamides
  • baricitinib
  • Methotrexate

Associated data