The effect of a tight control regime with monthly follow-up on remission rates and reported pain in early rheumatoid arthritis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether a tight control (TC) regime with monthly consultations to the physician for the first 6 months, could increase remission rate and improve reported pain of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: In this single-centre, TC study, with monthly visits to the physician, a cohort of 100 patients with early RA was consecutively included. They were compared with a reference cohort of 100 patients from the same clinic that had been conventionally managed. The patients were followed for 2 years. Results: The patients in the TC cohort had lower 28- joints disease activity score (DAS28) at three, six, 12 and 24 months, compared with the conventionally managed cohort, p ≤ 0.001. At 12 months, 71% in the TC cohort versus 46% in the conventional cohort were in remission (DAS28 < 2.6) and at 24 months 68% versus 49% respectively, p < 0.05. The TC cohort reported less pain at three, six, 12 and 24 months, p < 0.001. Multiple logistical regression analyses adjusted for, respectively, age, disease duration, pharmacological treatment, DAS28 and visual analogue scale pain at inclusion, revealed that participation in the TC cohort had an independent positive association with remission at 12 and 24 months and with acceptable pain at 24 months. Conclusion: The intensive follow-up schedule for patients with early RA improved remission and led to improvement in reported pain and physical function. The positive effect of a TC regime in early disease may be due to increased empowerment, developed by meeting health professionals frequently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
JournalMusculoskeletal Care
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Free keywords

  • early RA
  • pain
  • remission
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • tight control

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