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BACKGROUND The value of intensive combination therapy in early rheumatoid arthritis is unproven. In a multicentre, double-blind, randomised trial (COBRA), we compared the combination of sulphasalazine (2 g/day), methotrexate (7.5 mg/week), and prednisolone (initially 60 mg/day, tapered in 6 weekly steps to 7.5 mg/day) with sulphasalazine alone. METHODS(More)
OBJECTIVES To determine the incidence and sources of bacterial arthritis in the Amsterdam health district and the maximum percentage of cases that theoretically would be preventable. METHODS Patients with bacterial arthritis diagnosed between 1 October 1990 and 1 October 1993 were prospectively reported to the study centre by all 12 hospitals serving the(More)
INTRODUCTION Increasing evidence indicates that features suggestive of neuropathic pain may also be present in patients with common rheumatic conditions. The objective of this study was to examine neuropathic-like pain symptoms and associated factors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. METHODS We used the painDETECT screening tool to identify possible(More)
BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to examine the measurement properties of the Dutch SF-36 version 2 (SF-36v2) health survey in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS Scaling assumptions, internal reliability, and internal construct validity were examined using available data from 1884 RA patients included in the Dutch Rheumatoid Arthritis(More)
OBJECTIVE To assess, quantify and summarise the cost of illness of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) from the societal perspective. METHODS Original studies reporting costs of RA or AS were searched systematically. Both cost-of-illness studies and economic evaluations of therapies were included. Studies were appraised for patient(More)
Treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is hampered by gastrointestinal ulcer complications, such as ulcer bleeding and perforation. The efficacy of proton-pump inhibitors in the primary prevention of ulcer complications arising from the use of NSAIDs remains unproven. Selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors reduce the risk for(More)
BACKGROUND Patients who visit online support groups benefit in various ways. Results of our earlier study indicated that participation in online support groups had a profound effect on the participants' feelings of "being empowered." However, most studies of online patient support groups have focused on the members of these groups who actively contribute by(More)
BACKGROUND A favourable benefit/risk ratio for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with second-line drugs has been established only in short-term studies. The present investigation addresses the question of whether RA patients with a good response to long-term treatment with second-line drugs benefit from continuation of such treatment. METHODS A(More)
Pain is the most common reason patients seek medical attention and pain relief has been put forward as an ethical obligation of clinicians and a fundamental human right. However, pain management is challenging because the pathophysiology of pain is complex and not completely understood. Widely used analgesics such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(More)
BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to systematically review the content validity and measurement properties of all physical function (PF) scales which are currently validated for use with patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS Systematic literature searches were performed in the Scopus and PubMed databases to identify articles on the(More)