A randomized clinical trial of in-patient multidisciplinary treatment versus routine out-patient care in active rheumatoid arthritis

Br J Rheumatol. 1996 May;35(5):475-82. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/35.5.475.


The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of in-patient multidisciplinary treatment with standard out-patient care in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Eighty patients with active RA were randomized to receive 11 days of in-patient multidisciplinary treatment followed by standard out-patient care (n = 39), or to standard out-patient care only (n = 41). Patients were assessed at baseline, and after 2, 4, 12 and 52 weeks. In the in-patients, the improvement in variables of disease activity (weeks 2 and 4) and emotional status (weeks 4 and 12) was greater when compared with the out-patients (P < 0.05). The improvement in laboratory and functional measures did not differ between the groups. In the in-patient group, the percentage of patients responding to the American College of Rheumatology criteria for improvement was significantly greater at any time point during follow-up than in the out-patient group. A short period of in-patient multidisciplinary treatment for active RA has a direct beneficial effect on disease activity and emotional status with the favourable effect on disease activity remaining after 52 weeks.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / rehabilitation
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors