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Harmonizing existing patient reported outcome measures in rheumatoid arthritis


Functioning is an important outcome in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The heterogeneity of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) available challenges the direct comparability of information collected by these instruments. This study aims to achieve a standardization of reporting of PROMs in RA to facilitate their comparability.

A Common Item Non Equivalent Groups Design will be used for this study with the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) as a common item set across data sets from various countries to create a common metric. Secondary data will be used for instruments for which data is available from previous studies in the participating research centres. For instruments where there is limited data available from previous studies, new data will be collected always including the HAQ as a common item set.

The findings of this study enable health professionals to continue using their existing instruments while being able to compare outcomes with those from other clinics, clinical trials that have used similar, yet different PROMs, or large scale observational studies. Furthermore, these findings will allow health professionals to be compliant with international standards for eHealth and quality management in health services management. Based on the findings of this study, information from commonly used PROMs in RA will be available in a consistent and comparable manner for effective use in decision-making and can then also be aggregated in a valid manner for secondary clinical purposes such as quality audits and benchmarking, as well as for research purposes, including meta-analyses.

Project coordination

Dr. Birgit Prodinger (Schweizer Paraplegiker Forschung (Nottwil, Schweiz)

Cooperation partners

Schweizer Paraplegiker Forschung (Nottwil, Schweiz)






Ankara University, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Turkey

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Salford University, Rehabilitation Research Group, Centre for Health Sciences Research, Manchester, UK

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October 2016 – December 2018


The project is funded by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).



Dr. Michaela Coenen, MPH
Head of the Research Unit for Biopsychosocial Health