Abstract : Introduction
In chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (CIRDs), comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and infections are sub-optimally managed. EULAR recently developed points to consider to collect and report comorbidities. The objective of this present study was to develop a pragmatic guide to collect, report and propose management recommendations for comorbidities, from a rheumatologist perspective.
The collection and reporting of comorbidities and risk factors was adapted from the EULAR points to consider. To develop management recommendations, the process comprised (1) systematic literature reviews by 3 fellows and (2) a 2-day consensus process involving 110 experts (rheumatologists and health professionals). Votes of agreement (Likert 1-5 where 5 indicates full agreement) were obtained.
The six selected comorbidities were ischemic cardiovascular diseases, malignancies, infections, diverticulitis, osteoporosis and depression. The literature review retrieved 97 articles or websites, mostly developed for the general population. The consensus process led to reporting presence of comorbidities, current treatment, risk factors (e.g. hypertension), screening (e.g. mammography) and prevention (e.g. vaccination). Management recommendations include physical examination (e.g. blood pressure or lymph node examination), prescribing screening procedures, and interpreting results to refer in a timely manner to appropriate other health professionals. Agreement was high (mean ± standard deviation, 4.37 ± 0.33).
Using an evidence-based approach followed by expert consensus, this initiative furthers the dissemination in France of the EULAR points to consider, and clearly defines what part of the management of comorbidities is potentially within the remit of rheumatologists. This initiative should facilitate systematic management of patients with CIRDs.