It was the objective of the study to obtain population based data about the health care of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Germany. Therefore a postal questionnaire about rheumatic complaints was sent to a random sample (n = 11 534) of the German population of Hannover aged 25 - 74 years followed by a rheumatological examination of 1 665 persons between 1985 and 1990. During the past 12 months only 9 of 36 identified cases with RA (25 %) were seen by a rheumatologist. Only one in three cases with persistent active arthritis at a followup examination after 26 months was treated by a rheumatologist within the previous year. During the past 12 months only one third of the individuals with high disease activity were on disease modifying drugs (DMARDs). When a rheumatologist had been involved during the entire disease course the relative "risk" (95 %-confidence interval) for DMARDs in the previous year weighted for different distributions of active cases was 6.8 (2.5; 18.1) compared to non-specialist care. Only 16% and 32% of the persons found to have high disease activity had active and passive physiotherapy, respectively. As examplified in RA cases major deficiencies of the health care of rheumatic diseases are demonstrated in Germany. The necessity to overcome these shortcommings is stressed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Health Care of Individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis Identified in a Population Study|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 05.1995|