The Importance of Outcome Measures in the Management of Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases

Open Access Rheumatol. 2021 Jul 12:13:191-200. doi: 10.2147/OARRR.S276980. eCollection 2021.


Rheumatic inflammatory diseases include a diverse and heterogeneous group of multifaceted disorders in which clinical history and physical examination are essential to make treatment choices and for optimizing outcomes. Composite outcome measures have become very relevant in rheumatology to evaluate disease activity as they capture the most important dimensions of the disease into one single measure. Most outcome measures may include disease manifestations, laboratory data, physician examination as well as the patient perspective as different outcome dimensions of the disease into a simple index. These outcome measures have proved their utility for guiding treatment in treat-to- target strategies and personalized medicine, with remission being the ultimate goal. In this narrative review, we go over the most commonly used outcome measures in rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, including psoriatic arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus to provide a practical summary for clinicians for everyday routine care.

Keywords: disease activity; outcome measures; physician management; psoriatic arthritis; remission; rheumatoid arthritis; spondyloarthropathies; systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Review