Evolving the comprehensive management of rheumatoid arthritis: identification of unmet needs and development of practical and educational tools

Gerd Rüdiger Burmester, José María Álvaro-Gracia, Neil Betteridge, Jaime Calvo Alén, Bernard Combe, Patrick Durez, Bruno Fautrel, Ricardo J.O. Ferreira, Cem Gabay, Annamaria Iagnocco, Carlomaurizio Montecucco, Mikkel Østergaard, Sofia Ramiro, Andrea Rubbert-Roth, Tanja Stamm, Zoltán Szekanecz, Peter C. Taylor, Mart van de Laar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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OBJECTIVES: Despite availability of efficacious treatments, unmet needs still exist, preventing optimal and comprehensive management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Evolving the management of RA (eRA) is a European-wide educational initiative aiming to support improved patient care through practical and educational tools addressing specific unmet needs.

METHODS: A multidisciplinary Steering Committee (17 members, 12 countries) identified unmet needs within the management of RA and prioritised those with the greatest impact on patient outcomes. Practical educational tools addressing priority needs were then developed for dissemination and implementation by the rheumatology community across Europe.

RESULTS: Five areas of priority need were identified: increasing early recognition of RA and treatment initiation; treating RA to target; optimal, holistic approach to selection of treatment strategy, including shared decision-making; improving identification and management of comorbidities; and non-pharmacological patient management. A suite of 14 eRA tools included educational slides, best-practice guidance, self‑assessment questionnaires, clinical checklists, a multidisciplinary team training exercise, an interactive patient infographic, and case scenarios. By April 2020, rheumatology professionals in 17 countries had been actively engaged in the eRA programme; in 11 countries, eRA tools were selected by national leaders in rheumatology and translated for local dissemination. A web platform, with country-specific pages, was developed to support access to the translated tools (https://www.evolvingthemanagementofra.com/).

CONCLUSIONS: The eRA programme supports comprehensive management of RA across Europe through development and dissemination of practical educational tools. The eRA tools address priority needs and are available free of charge to the rheumatology community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1067
Number of pages12
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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