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Implementing electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePROs) in Arthritis Clinical Research: Importance, benefits, and management for incorporating ePROs

Arthritis is a general term categorized by acute or chronic inflammation of the joints. Arthritis may cause a variety of symptoms, most commonly pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and joint deformities. The pathology of arthritis is not limited to the joint itself and can extend to the surrounding connective tissues and structures throughout the body having a global impact on ones’ quality of life.

Clinical research in arthritis often includes clinical outcome assessments (COAs), such as patient reported outcomes (PROs), clinician reported outcomes (ClinROs) and observer related outcomes (ObsROs). While objective measures are a necessity, the extent of the patient experience cannot be captured simply with a physical exam, lab tests, or imaging. Only including these types of assessments would provide a limited understanding of the overall condition, which could lead to reduced therapeutic advancements, treatments that do not fully manage patient symptoms, and restricted scope of research that is not targeted to patient needs. PROs allow patients to be active participants in the research conducted and contribute their insight as it relates to their health condition. Additionally, regulatory bodies are increasingly looking at COAs to guide patient-focused research and decision making.

This article details the importance of incorporating PRO data into arthritis clinical research and addresses the value of electronic collection and management of this data, to guarantee quality and integrity of the research, as well as to continuously engage and support the patients providing them.

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Last update : 7 June 2023

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