New developments in the field of targeted therapies or biologic agents led more effective management of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recommendations for the management of rheumatic diseases propose to reduce inappropriate use of medications, minimize variations among countries, and enable cost-effective use of health care resources.
The aim this study was to evaluate conceptual agreement of ASsessment in SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS) and the EUropean League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the management of AS and EULAR recommendations for RA and to assess the rate of application among Turkish physiatrists in daily clinical practice.
An online survey link has been sent to 1756 Turkish physiatrists with e-mails asking to rate agreement on 11-item ASAS/EULAR AS recommendations and 15-item EULAR RA recommendations with synthetic and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Also barriers and difficulties for using biologic agents were assessed.
Three hundred nine physiatrists (17.5%) completed the survey. The conceptual agreement with both recommendations was very high (Level of agreement; mean 8.35±0.82 and 8.90± 0.67 for RA and AS recommendations, respectively), and the self-declared application of overall recommendations in the clinical practice was also high for both RA and AS (72.42% and 75.71%, respectively).
Turkish physiatrists are in good conceptual agreement with the evidence-based recommendations for the management of AS and RA. These efforts may serve to disseminate the knowledge and increase the current awareness among physicians who serve to these patients and also implementation of these recommendations is expected to increase as well.