During the last few years epidemiologic research on rheumatic diseases in the Federal Republic of Germany has been sponsored, primarily, by the Ministry of Research and Technology. The projects, either completed, ongoing or planned, concentrate on health services research, population studies of the prevalence of specific diseases or complaints (rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, juvenile chronic arthritis, osteoarthritis) and clinical epidemiology, especially concerning early arthritis. As a result of the general shortage of public funds, less projects could be sponsored than expected. The aim of the Ministry to establish research organizations that will continue to exist even if public funding is curtailed seems to be jeopardized. Therefore, not only the federal government, but also the federal states and institutions like the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft should be engaged in this field. More groups should have the opportunity to work in epidemiology of rheumatic diseases, and groups which are able to work in close connection with basic scientists and rheumatological clinicians should be institutionally affiliated on a permanent basis. This is critical for the further development of this discipline which is important for health services research, quality assurance, as well as for analytical research and prevention.
|Translated title of the contribution||Epidemiology of rheumatic diseases in the Federal Republic of Germany - Present state and perspective|
|Journal||Zeitschrift fur Rheumatologie|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|