November 7, 2023 by
Lucy Gardner Carson
Rheumatologist Brendan Thoms, M.B.B.S., assistant professor of medicine
(NOVEMBER 7, 2023) A study of variables that might indicate whether a patient is afflicted with inflammatory arthritis or non-inflammatory disease by rheumatologist Brendan Thoms, M.B.B.S., assistant professor of medicine, and colleagues shows that key details of patients’ inflammatory arthritis were often missing from rheumatology referral letters, and that only a minority of these patients were seen within the target of six weeks, Healio reports.
“The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) recommend that patients with suspected rheumatoid arthritis be assessed by a rheumatologist within six weeks of referral,” the researchers wrote. “Distinguishing inflammatory from non-inflammatory arthropathy, however, is not always a straightforward process, and the combination of a high burden of musculoskeletal disease within the population and a shortage of rheumatologists has led to long wait times for initial evaluation.” They noted, “This data suggests that a few key aspects of the history and exam are of utmost importance to adequately triage patients in rheumatology clinic but are often missing.”
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