Treat-to-Target Approach in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Quality Improvement Trial
Objective: Using a quality improvement approach, our objective was to integrate a treat-to-target approach for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) through routine electronic collection of patient-reported disease activity scores and a multidisciplinary learning collaborative for rheumatologists.
Methods: RA patients completed a patient-reported outcome measure, the Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (RAPID3), at check-in. Nine rheumatologists and their patients were allocated to a learning collaborative intervention group focused on a treat-to-target approach and 13 were allocated to a control group. The primary outcome was documentation of a treat-to-target implementation score: disease activity score, disease activity score used in the medication change decision, the presence of a treatment target, and an indication of shared decision-making. A primary analysis of patient visits with medication changes was conducted using an interrupted time-series analysis.
Results: We studied 554 individual rheumatology patients with 709 patient visits. Treat-to-target implementation scores among intervention rheumatologists (mean ± SD 44.6% ± 1.63%) were 12.4% higher than in the control group (mean ± SD 32.2% ± 1.50%; P < 0.0001). We observed differences in treat-to-target implementation score components, comparing intervention group to control group rheumatologists: disease activity score present, 77.2% versus 68.0% (P = 0.02); disease activity score used in the medication change decision, 45.2% versus 30.0% (P < 0.01); treatment target, 9.0% versus 0.4% (P < 0.01); and shared decision-making, 46.9% versus 30.0% (P < 0.01). Secondary analysis of patient visits with high RAPID3 scores found that medication changes were 54% less likely in the intervention versus control group (odds ratio 0.46 [95% confidence interval 0.27–0.79], P = 0.005).
Conclusion: This nonrandomized, interrupted time-series trial demonstrated a modest but significant impact of a learning collaborative intervention on rheumatologist documentation of a treat-to-target approach in RA.
Desai, S. P., Leatherwood, C., Forman, M., Ko, E., Stevens, E., Iversen, M., Xu, C., Lu, B., & Solomon, D. H. (2021). Treat-to-target approach in rheumatoid arthritis: A quality improvement trial. Arthritis Care & Research, 73(2), 207–214. Doi: 10.1002/acr.24114
Arthritis Care & Research