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A randomized study comparing regular care with a nurse-led clinic based on tight disease activity control and person-centred care in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with moderate/high disease activity: A 6-month evaluation

Journal article
Authors U. Bergsten
K. Almehed
A. Baigi
Lennart T. H. Jacobsson
Published in Musculoskeletal Care
ISSN 1478-2189
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Language en
Keywords nursing, rheumatoid arthritis, self-management
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


Introduction: A recent survey showed that 27% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients had inadequately controlled disease activity. Hence, there is a need for new strategies aiming at improving patient outcomes. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a nurse-led clinic with frequent visits, treat-to-target and person-centred care of patients with established RA and moderate-to-high disease activity compared with patients receiving regular care. Methods: The study was a randomized, controlled trial over 26 weeks, with a nonrandomized extension to week 50. Patients were randomized to an intervention group (IG; nurse-led clinic) based on person-centred care, frequent visits and “treat to target”, or to a control group (CG) which visited the clinic according to care as usual. The primary outcome was the difference in the DAS28 change between the IG and the CG groups. Results: A total of 332 patients were screened for eligibility, of which 70 were randomly assigned to either the IG (n = 36) or the CG (n = 34) group. The primary outcome was not met, although patients in the IG group tended to improve more than those in the CG group (difference: 0.43 (95% confidence interval [CI] –0.27, 1.13). In both the IG and CG groups, delta-DAS28 improved significantly. The European League Against Rheumatology moderate or good response was achieved by 76% (95% CI 58, 89) in the IG and 49% (95% CI 32, 65) in the CG group. Conclusions: Disease activity tended to improve more with the nurse-led intervention compared with regular care, although the difference was not significant, probably partly due to the lack of statistical power. © 2019 The Authors Musculoskeletal Care published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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