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1.  The 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(9):2582-2591.
Objective
The American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism have developed new classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of Phase 2 of the development process was to achieve expert consensus on the clinical and laboratory variables that should contribute to the final criteria set.
Methods
Twenty-four expert RA clinicians (12 from Europe and 12 from North America) participated in Phase 2. A consensus-based decision analysis approach was used to identify factors (and their relative weights) that influence the probability of “developing RA,” complemented by data from the Phase 1 study. Patient case scenarios were used to identify and reach consensus on factors important in determining the probability of RA development. Decision analytic software was used to derive the relative weights for each of the factors and their categories, using choice-based conjoint analysis.
Results
The expert panel agreed that the new classification criteria should be applied to individuals with undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis in whom at least 1 joint is deemed by an expert assessor to be swollen, indicating definite synovitis. In this clinical setting, they identified 4 additional criteria as being important: number of joints involved and site of involvement, serologic abnormality, acute-phase response, and duration of symptoms in the involved joints. These criteria were consistent with those identified in the Phase 1 data-driven approach.
Conclusion
The consensus-based, decision analysis approach used in Phase 2 complemented the Phase 1 efforts. The 4 criteria and their relative weights form the basis of the final criteria set.
doi:10.1002/art.27580
PMCID: PMC3077961  PMID: 20872596
2.  Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis to Target: multinational recommendations assessment questionnaire 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2011;70(11):1999-2002.
Aim
To measure the level of agreement and application of 10 international recommendations for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to a target of remission/low disease activity.
Methods
A 10-point Likert scale (1=fully disagree, 10=fully agree) measured the level of agreement with each of 10 recommendations. A 4-point Likert scale (never, not very often, very often, always) assessed the degree to which each recommendation was being applied in current daily practice. If respondents answered ‘never’ or ‘not very often’, they were asked whether they would change their practice according to the particular recommendation.
Results
A total of 1901 physicians representing 34 countries participated. Both agreement with and application of recommendations was high. With regard to application of recommendations in daily practice, the majority of responses were ‘always’ and ‘very often’. A significant percentage of participants who were currently not applying these recommendations in clinical practice were willing to change their practice according to the recommendations.
Conclusion
The results of this survey demonstrated great support of ‘Treating RA to Target’ recommendations among the international rheumatology community. Additional efforts may be needed to encourage application of the recommendations among certain clinicians who are resistant to changing their practice.
doi:10.1136/ard.2011.154179
PMCID: PMC3273732  PMID: 21803747

Results 1-2 (2)