Rheumatoid arthritis: new approaches for its evaluation and management

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1995 Feb;76(2):190-201. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(95)80029-8.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive disease with a long-term outcome characterized by significant morbidity, loss of functional capacity, and increased mortality. The cornerstone of therapy includes the appropriate melding of pharmacological, rehabilitative, and surgical treatments. New developments in the care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis have focused on aggressive pharmacological therapy early in the course of the illness, ongoing assessment of disease activity and patient function, and a better understanding of the role of rehabilitative techniques such as therapeutic exercise and behavioral approaches to education. This article synthesizes information from studies on recent advances in the management of rheumatoid arthritis outlining diagnosis and assessment, disability issues, outcome studies, current status of traditional and experimental pharmacological therapies, and new strategies of nonpharmacological treatments aimed at the clinician challenged by this fascinating disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / rehabilitation
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Methotrexate