Validity of self-reported rheumatoid arthritis in elderly women

J Rheumatol. 1996 Nov;23(11):1862-5.


Objective: To determine the validity of a self-reported physician diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in elderly women.

Methods: Women with self-reported RA were contacted and permission requested to contact their physician. Physicians were mailed a questionnaire requesting information on the subject's arthritic condition. Hand radiographs obtained at study entry were read for changes of RA.

Results: The self-reported diagnosis of RA could be confirmed in 26 (21%) individuals.

Conclusion: The positive predictive value of self-reported RA was low in this cohort. Caution needs to be exercised in the use and interpretation of self-report data concerning arthritic conditions in epidemiologic studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged / psychology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Examination*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*