Short term effects of corticosteroid pulse treatment on disease activity and the wellbeing of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
SourceAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 60, 1, (2001), pp. 61-4-4
Article / Letter to editor
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Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
SubjectPsychological antecedents; Psychologische determinanten
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the short term effects of corticosteroid pulse treatment (CPT) on disease activity, functional ability, and psychological wellbeing of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Of 66 consecutive patients with active RA admitted for CPT, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C reactive protein level, haemoglobin concentration, platelet count, duration of early morning stiffness, a joint score, and grip strength were assessed before and after CPT. Additionally, a health status questionnaire was administered. Effects of CPT were expressed as before to after intervention effect sizes and, to place them in perspective, compared with the (long term) effect sizes of disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment in a historical contrast group of patients with early RA. RESULTS: Statistically significant improvement from baseline in disease activity, physical functioning, and psychological wellbeing after CPT was seen, with moderate to large effect sizes, resembling the effects seen after DMARD treatment. Neither depression nor psychosis occurred during and after CPT. CONCLUSION: Qualitatively and quantitatively the short term effects of CPT in patients with active established RA on various dimensions of health status resemble the long term effects of conventional DMARD treatment in patients with early RA. Psychological disorders do not seem to be common short term side effects of CPT in patients with active RA.
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