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Wide variation exists in the definitions of osteoarthritis flare currently in rheumatology trials, which negate the value of direct comparison between trials and impede interpretation of evidence, according to recent findings.In a systematic literature review, researchers queried the Medline and PsychINFO databases for publications up using the search terms “osteoarthritis,” “knee,” “hip” and “flare.” Eligible studies included patients with confirmed osteoarthritis (OA), as well as a specific definition of OA flare, either in quantitative or qualitative methods. Data collected from each study enabled a description of the characteristics of the definition for OA flare.Researchers identified 23 articles considered for final inclusion. These included 15 were clinical trials, including one meta-analysis; three studies for the development and validation of a diagnostic tool; and five prognostic studies, including a literature review. Twelve studies used flare in their designs, two used flare as an inclusion criterion and eight included flare as an outcome. One study used both a flare inclusion and outcome.Most of the studies reported flare as an increase in pain using the WOMAC, VAS or global assessment and one study documented the precursors and aftereffects of pain flare. These studies used qualitative methods, including the timing of the increase in pain (sudden or short duration).
Original Article: OA trials need PROMs for flares that extend beyond pain criteriaNEXT ARTICLE
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