Early Inflammatory Arthritis (EIA) Detection Tool: Field Validation in the Canadian Healthcare Environment
This is a multi-centre study investigating the use of a detection tool for early inflammatory arthritis (EIA) in the primary care environment. Inflammatory arthritis is the most common systemic rheumatic disease. Early detection and treatment of inflammatory arthritis is critical to the reduction of joint damage. However, diagnosis can be delayed if symptoms are not recognized. An easy to use tool may facilitate timely, effective, specialist referral and disease management. The purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of the American College of Rheumatology EIA screening tool in the Canadian primary health care environment. Participants were recruited from the waiting rooms of participating family physicians. Those individuals who met study criteria were asked to complete the 11-item detection tool. Physicians then completed their visit with the patient, indicated their diagnosis on the detection tool and provided a referral to a rheumatologist. The patient will visit with the rheumatologist (blinded to the information provided on the screening tool) who then provided his/her diagnosis. Recruitment at the NL site is complete. All participating patients have completed their referral appointments. Data analysis at the main study site is ongoing.