Pain and other self-report scores in patients with osteoarthritis indicate generally similar disease burden to patients with rheumatoid arthritis

1, 2, 3

  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.
  2. Department of Rheumatology, Liverpool Hospital; Ingham Research Institute, Liverpool, NSW; University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney, Australia.
  3. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA. tedpincus@gmail.com

CER10805 Submission on line
2017 Vol.35, N°5 ,Suppl.107 - PI 0088, PF 0093
Pain in osteoarthritis

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Rheumatology Article



Osteoarthritis (OA) is regarded as a less severe form of arthritis than rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by health professionals and the general public, based largely on laboratory findings of autoantibodies and acute phase reactants. Relatively few studies have reported data from the patient’s perspective to compare directly OA versus RA using the same self-report questionnaire measure. We aimed to summarise reports that compare OA versus RA patient pain scores and other indicators of disease burden according to the same self-report questionnaire.
A retrospective review identified 5 published reports at 8 rheumatology sites in 4 countries from 1989 to 2017 in which patients with OA versus RA completed the same patient self-report questionnaire for pain and other variables. Most comparisons involved a health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and derivative multidimensional HAQ (MDHAQ), which include physical function, pain visual analogue scale (VAS) and patient global assessment VAS. Other questionnaires were included in one or two reported studies.
Mean or median pain VAS was in a similar range in OA versus RA, though somewhat higher in OA at 7 of 8 sites studied (included in 1989). Physical function and other scores also were in a similar range for RA versus OA. Evidence of higher scores for physical function in RA relative to OA in earlier than more recent studies was seen, although all studies indicated a clinically important disease burden in OA.
OA presents a severe disease burden to patients, which appears similar to RA. The findings suggest revision of current clinical and public policy views concerning OA.

PMID: 28967371 [PubMed]

Received: 11/09/2017 - Accepted : 11/09/2017 - In Press: 28/09/2017 - Published: 29/09/2017