Joint symptoms, including pain, swelling and stiffness are common reasons to consult primary care, making the diagnosis of serious medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis challenging for GPs. Recent therapeutic advances mean that we now have a key window of opportunity to treat patients, but this relies on the prompt and accurate diagnosis.
The CLAHRC research group have been investigating reasons for delay in making a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Building on this published research we have developed a symptom checklist questionnaire (Symptoms in Persons At Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis, or SPARRA). The next step in this research is to test this questionnaire in patients consulting primary care.
Aim of the project
The aim of this survey is therefore to determine the prevalence of common symptoms potentially associated with rheumatoid arthritis in patients consulting general practice.