Diagnostic delay is common for patients with axial spondyloarthritis: Results from the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit

Russell, Mark D., Coath, Fiona, Yates, Mark, Bechman, Katie, Norton, Sam, Galloway, James B., Ledingham, Joanna, Sengupta, Raj and Gaffney, Karl (2022) Diagnostic delay is common for patients with axial spondyloarthritis: Results from the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit. Rheumatology, 61 (2). pp. 734-742. ISSN 1462-0324

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Updated guidelines for patients with axial SpA (axSpA) have sought to reduce diagnostic delay by raising awareness among clinicians. We used the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit (NEIAA) to describe baseline characteristics and time to diagnosis for newly referred patients with axSpA in England and Wales. METHODS: Analyses were performed on sociodemographic and clinical metrics, including time to referral and assessment, for axSpA patients (n = 784) recruited to the NEIAA between May 2018 and March 2020. Comparators were patients recruited to the NEIAA with RA (n = 9270) or mechanical back pain (MBP; n = 370) in the same period. RESULTS: Symptom duration prior to initial rheumatology assessment was longer in axSpA than RA patients (P < 0.001) and non-significantly longer in axSpA than MBP patients (P = 0.062): 79.7% of axSpA patients had symptom durations of >6 months, compared with 33.7% of RA patients and 76.0% of MBP patients. Following referral, the median time to initial rheumatology assessment was longer for axSpA than RA patients (36 vs 24 days; P < 0.001) and similar to MBP patients (39 days; P = 0.30). Of the subset of patients deemed eligible for early inflammatory arthritis pathway follow-up, fewer axSpA than RA patients had disease education provided (77.5% vs 97.8%) and RA patients reported a better understanding of their condition and treatment. CONCLUSION: Diagnostic delay in axSpA remains a major challenge despite improved disease understanding and updated referral guidelines. Disease education is provided to fewer axSpA than RA patients, highlighting the need for specialist clinics and support programmes for axSpA patients.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis,axial spondyloarthritis,delay,diagnosis,eia,national audit,neiaa,rheumatoid arthritis,rheumatology,pharmacology (medical) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2745
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 15:34
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 08:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/83805
DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keab428

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