Development of a Canadian Core Clinical Dataset to Support High-quality Care for Canadian Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

J Rheumatol. 2017 Dec;44(12):1813-1822. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.170421. Epub 2017 Oct 1.


Objective: To develop a Canadian Rheumatoid Arthritis Core Clinical Dataset (CAN-RACCD) to standardize documentation encouraging high-quality care.

Methods: A set of candidate elements was drafted through meetings with 27 rheumatologists, researchers, and patients, and supplemented with focused literature reviews. A 3-round online-modified Delphi consensus process was held with rheumatologists (n = 26), allied health professionals (n = 7), and patients (n = 4); for the remainder there was no demographic information. Participants rated both the importance and feasibility of documenting candidate elements on a Likert scale of 1-9, contributed to an online moderated discussion, and re-rated the elements for inclusion in the CAN-RACCD. Elements were included in the final set if importance and feasibility ratings had a median score of ≥ 6.5 and there was no disagreement among participants.

Results: Fifty-five individual elements in 10 subgroups were proposed to the Delphi participants: measures of RA disease activity; dates to calculate waiting times, disease duration, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drug start; comorbidities; smoking status; patient-reported pain and fatigue; physical function; laboratory and radiographic investigations; medications; clinical characteristics; and vaccines. All groups were included in the final set, with the exception of vaccination status. Additionally, 3 individual elements from the smoking subgroup were eliminated with a recommendation to record smoking status as never/ever/current, and 2 elements relating to coping and effect of fatigue were eliminated due to low feasibility and importance ratings.

Conclusion: The CAN-RACCD stands as a national recommendation on which data elements should be routinely collected in clinical practice to monitor and support high-quality RA care.


MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Canada
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Rheumatology / standards*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antirheumatic Agents