Use of Self-Administered Joint Counts in the Evaluation of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Arthritis Care Res. 1993 Jun;6(2):78-81. doi: 10.1002/art.1790060206.


The validity and reliability of self-administered joint counts are reported in a group of 32 rheumatoid arthritis patients being followed at a university-based practice located in the Southeast region of the United States, serving low to middle income urban and rural patients. Adequate inter-rater reliability among the patients' and the research assistant's joint counts was obtained for upper (r = 0.74), lower (r = 0.96), and upper and lower extremities (r = 0.89). Convergent validity correlations for pain, helplessness, and the Joint Alignment and Motion scale were found to be adequate. We conclude that rheumatoid arthritis patients can reliably assess their joint counts. Self joint counts along with other validated self-reports of health status may be applicable to busy outpatient settings, as well as in clinical research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / classification*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joints / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Time Factors