The QuickDASH in the Assessment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity

Matthew B. Carroll*

The QuickDASH in the Assessment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory and immune-mediated disease with both
articular and extra-articular manifestations. It is a disease of substantial morbidity and increased
mortality, but within the last 2 decades has witnessed significant breakthroughs in our understanding of the disease.

Advances in our understanding of RA have facilitated the development
of pharmacologic therapies which make it possible to arrest disease activity for many patients.
Attaining this achievable goal rests on the ability to accurately measure RA disease activity.

In both scientific trials and clinical practice a variety of disease activity indices have been used
to measure RA disease activity. These indices utilize information obtained from the patient,
the physician, and/or serologic markers of inflammation.

Despite access to and endorsement of such disease activity indices, a large portion
of US rheumatologists do not routinely use indices in clinical practice.
Multiple factors likely contribute to this trend, with the time demands
of clinical practice an important consideration.

In a robust clinical practice disease activity indices that require complex formulas to calculate a score
or several minutes to complete hinder efficiency. Under these circumstances, an instrument such as a patient administered questionnaire that is easy to complete, easy for the provider to
score, and minimizes or avoids serologic data gathering would be optimal.

Additionally, a questionnaire focusing on upper extremity function would also be desirable.
Good upper extremity function is critical to independent daily living.
A questionnaire assessing upper extremity function would also correlate with the
data gathered on physical examination of patients with RA as 26
of the 28 joints counted assess upper extremity disease activity.

Osteol Rheumatol Open J. 2016; 1(1): 23-29. doi: 10.17140/ORHOJ-1-108