Can tender and swollen joint counts work in a telemedicine world?
RheumNow reports on research presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2021 annual meeting by Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, rheumatologist at HSS, and colleagues.
Dr. Bykerk explained how the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH) study explored rheumatoid arthritis patient-reported assessments of tender and swollen joints via telemedicine by measuring changes in joint counts in the three months between assessments. The patients were asked to rate tender and swollen joints on a 28 joint count using a homunculus, and treating rheumatologists were asked to do the same; these were used to calculate a clinical disease activity index (CDAI).
A separate abstract from the CATCH study asked patients to fill out a body pain diagram to determine regional or widespread pain, or no non-articular pain at all, and correlations between patient CDAI and rheumatologist CDAI were observed. Notably, there was similarly good correlation in patients without non-articular pain and in patients with regional pain, suggesting that tendonitis does not need to interfere with the veracity of patient joint counts.
Read the full article at Rheumnow.com.