Table 1

Comparison between reporting to follow the EULAR and T2T recommendations and managing patients in clinical practice

Rheumatologists’ opinion about adherence (measured in 72 rheumatologists)*Rheumatologists’ performance in daily practice (measured in 378 patients)†
Always followed, n (%)(Some) times/never followed, n (%)Missing, n (%)Always applied, n (%)(Some) times/never applied, n (%)Not reported, n (%)
EU 1. ‘Treatment with synthetic DMARDs should be started as soon as the diagnosis of RA is made’.70 (98)1 (1)1 (1)253 (67)65 (17)60 (16)
EU 3. ‘MTX is part of the first treatment strategy in patients with active RA’.69 (96)2 (3)1 (1)225 (60)93 (24)60 (16)
EU 4. ‘When MTX contraindications (or intolerance) are present, the following DMARDs should be used: leflunomide, sulfasalazine of injectable gold’.59 (82)12 (17)1 (1)15 (19)78 (81)
T2T ‘Measures of disease activity must be obtained and documented regularly’‡60 (83)10 (14)2 (3)68 (27)125 (51)
23 in ≥75%;
45 in ≥50%;
27 in <50%;
30 in none of the visits
54 (22)
  • *Always=rheumatologists report following this recommendation, sometimes/never=rheumatologists report following this recommendation sometimes or not, missing=no answer was filled in.

  • †Always=rheumatologists follow this recommendation, sometimes/never=rheumatologists follow this recommendation sometimes or not. Not reported=no information present on whether the recommendation is followed by the rheumatologist.

  • ‡As frequently as monthly for patients with high/moderate disease activity or less frequently (such as every 3–6 months) for patients in sustained low disease activity or remission.

  • EULAR, European League Against Rheumatism; RA, rheumatoid arthritis; T2T, treat to target.