Disease activity–based management of rheumatoid arthritis in Dutch daily clinical practice has improved over the past decade

Marieke J. Spijk-de Jonge, Julia M. Weijers*, Laura W.M. Boerboom, Anita M.P. Huis, Femke Atsma, Laura T.C. Van Hulst, Mart A.F.J. van de Laar, Marlies E.J.L. Hulscher, Piet L.C.M. van Riel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


To re-evaluate the adherence to clinical practice guidelines recommended disease activity–based management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in daily clinical practice, among Dutch rheumatologists in the past decade. In 2007, disease activity was measured in only 16% of outpatient visits. All rheumatologists that participated in the 2007 study were invited to re-enter our study in 2016/2017. If necessary, data were supplemented with data from other rheumatologists. For all 26 rheumatologists who agreed to participate in our study, data were collected from 30 consecutive patients that visited the outpatient clinic. Per patient, data from four consecutive rheumatologist outpatient visits were collected. Since 2007, disease activity was measured more frequently in Dutch daily clinical practice, increasing from 16 to 79% of visits (2440/3081 visits). In addition, intensification of medication based on disease activity scores increased from 33 to 50% of visits (260/525 visits). DAS/DAS28 was the most frequently used disease activity measure (1596/2440 visits). There was a wide variation among rheumatologists in measuring disease activity and intensification of medication, 20–100% and 0–75% respectively. Over the past years, there has been a large improvement in disease activity assessment in daily clinical practice. Disease activity–based medication intensifications, also called tight control or treat to target, increased to a lesser extent. Large variation between different rheumatologists and clinics indicates that there is still room for improvement. Key Points• Following guideline dissemination disease activity is assessed more frequently (79%).• There is large variation between rheumatologists, indicating room for improvement.• Finding factors that explain variation is necessary to improve tight control in daily practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1139
Number of pages9
JournalClinical rheumatology
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Disease activity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tight control
  • Variation
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • n/a OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Disease activity–based management of rheumatoid arthritis in Dutch daily clinical practice has improved over the past decade'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this