The two-year follow-up of a randomized comparison of in-patient multidisciplinary team care and routine out-patient care for active rheumatoid arthritis

Br J Rheumatol. 1997 Jan;36(1):82-5. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/36.1.82.


The long-term effects of a period of 11 days of in-patient multidisciplinary team care were compared with routine out-patient care in 80 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Endpoint measures included swollen and tender joint counts, the patient's assessment of pain, the patient's and the physician's assessments of disease activity, the ESR and the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Two years after hospitalization, all 39 patients randomized to the in-patient group and 39 out of 41 patients randomized to the out-patient group were evaluable. At 2 yr, in the in-patient group the improvement according to mean changes from baseline was greater than that in the out-patient group for all endpoint measures except for the HAQ score, the differences not reaching statistical significance. Averaged over the time points 2, 52 and 104 weeks, the improvement was significantly greater in the in-patient group than in the out-patient group, except for the ESR and HAQ score. In conclusion, a short period of in-patient multidisciplinary team care has a beneficial effect on disease activity over a period of 2 yr and should be considered as a useful treatment modality in patients with active RA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / rehabilitation*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Work


  • Antirheumatic Agents