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Title: Belgian rheumatologists' perception on eligibility of RA patients for anti-TNF treatment matches more closely Dutch rather than Belgian reimbursement criteria
Authors: Geens, Elke ×
Geusens, Piet
Vanhoof, Johan
Berghs, Hubert
Praet, Johan
Esselens, Greet
Lens, Simonne
Dufour, Jean-Pol
Vandenberghe, Marc
Van Mullem, Xavier
Westhovens, Rene
Verschueren, Patrick #
Issue Date: May-2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Series Title: Rheumatology vol:48 issue:5 pages:546-550
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To assess discrepancies between perception of Belgian rheumatologists on eligibility of RA patients for anti-TNF treatment and Belgian reimbursement criteria and to compare Belgian with Dutch criteria and UK guidelines. METHODS: Consecutive MTX-experienced patients with active RA were recruited from 25 private and academic rheumatology practices. Discrepancies between eligibility for anti-TNF treatment according to the rheumatologist and fulfillment of Belgian reimbursement criteria [HAQ > or =25%, tender joint count (TJC) and swollen joint count (SJC) > or =8; > or =1 erosion; failure of > or =2 DMARDs including MTX; no tuberculosis] were recorded. Reasons for failing the Belgian criteria and results of applying Dutch reimbursement criteria and UK guidelines on the dataset were analysed. RESULTS: Of 492 patients, rheumatologists considered 135 (27.4%) as eligible, whereas Belgian criteria were fulfilled for only 34 (6.9%). Positive predictive value (PPV) of rheumatologists' perception on eligibility for fulfillment of Belgian criteria was 22.9%, whereas negative predictive value (NPV) was 99.1%. The 104 patients (21.1%) considered eligible despite criteria not being fulfilled had significantly greater TJCs, SJCs, disease activity score (DAS28) and Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index scores than the 385 patients (78.2%) in the no-discrepancy group. Number of swollen joints, HAQ and erosions mainly accounted for discrepancies. Of 492 patients, 263 (53.4%) qualified for Dutch criteria and 41 (8.3%) for UK guidelines. PPV of Belgian rheumatologists' perception was 72.6% for fulfilling Dutch criteria (NPV 49.6%) and 23.4% for UK guidelines (NPV 96.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Rheumatologists consider more RA patients eligible for anti-TNF treatment than would be reimbursed according to Belgian criteria. Dutch guidelines, based on DAS28, match more closely eligibility according to Belgian rheumatologists.
URI: 
ISSN: 1462-0324
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Rheumatology Section (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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