For rheumatologists, the five most influential factors were:
number of swollen joints
physician global assessment of disease activity
worsening erosions over the last year
and RA disease activity now compared to three months ago.
For patients, the 5 most important factors were:
current level of physical functioning
motivation to get better
trust in their rheumatologist
satisfaction with current DMARDs
and current number of painful joints.
Conclusion: Factors influencing the decision to escalate care differ between rheumatologists and patients. Better communication between patients and their physicians may improve treatment planning in RA patients with active disease.