CLINICIANS’ PERSPECTIVE ON APPLYING THE TREAT-TO-TARGET STRATEGY IN SPONDYLOARTHRITIS PATIENTS
The treat-to-target (T2T) strategy is valuable in rheumatic conditions since it can prevent damage accrual. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinicians’ perspective on this concept in spondyloarthritis (SpA) patients and its implementation in daily practice. A 10-item questionnaire was distributed among clinicians caring for rheumatic patients, investigating the use of disease indices, top priorities in disease assessment, optimal timeframe to target achievement or encountered difficulties when using T2T strategy. A number of 65 physicians digitally filled the questionnaire, working in both public and private workplaces. Most were familiarized with the T2T strategy (75%) and stated as top priorities attaining proposed targets with disease activity indices with they use in every patient visit or patients’ satisfaction with the disease course. Number of painful joints or entesitis are important in peripheral SpA. A considerable percentage take into account clinical and radiological improvement. Difficulties in carrying out the T2T scheme is patients’ loss from follow-up (50.7%), national protocol regulations (26.1%) or patients’ fear of treatment (13.8%). Most physicians are acquainted with the T2T approach, applying it to more than half of SpA patients and mostly considering as essential traditional disease assessment tools and patients’ satisfaction. Enhancing rheumatologists’ adherence to applying the T2T concept can optimize long-term management of SpA patients.
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