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1.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 10(4): e35462, 2022 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834184

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prevalent autoimmune disease that usually involves problems of the hand or wrist. Current evidence recommends a multimodal therapy including exercise, self-management, and educational strategies. To date, the efficacy of this approach, as delivered using a smartphone app, has been scarcely investigated. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the short- and medium-term efficacy of a digital app (CareHand) that includes a tailored home exercise program, together with educational and self-management recommendations, compared with usual care, for people with RA of the hands. METHODS: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial was conducted between March 2020 and February 2021, including 36 participants with RA of the hands (women: 22/36, 61%) from 2 community health care centers. Participants were allocated to use the CareHand app, consisting of tailored exercise programs, and self-management and monitoring tools or to a control group that received a written home exercise routine and recommendations, as per the usual protocol provided at primary care settings. Both interventions lasted for 3 months (4 times a week). The primary outcome was hand function, assessed using the Michigan Hand Outcome Questionnaire (MHQ). Secondary measures included pain and stiffness intensity (visual analog scale), grip strength (dynamometer), pinch strength (pinch gauge), and upper limb function (shortened version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire). All measures were collected at baseline and at a 3-month follow-up. Furthermore, the MHQ and self-reported stiffness were assessed 6 months after baseline, whereas pain intensity and scores on the shortened version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire were collected at the 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-ups. RESULTS: In total, 30 individuals, corresponding to 58 hands (CareHand group: 26/58, 45%; control group: 32/58, 55%), were included in the analysis; 53% (19/36) of the participants received disease-modifying antirheumatic drug treatment. The ANOVA demonstrated a significant time×group effect for the total score of the MHQ (F1.62,85.67=9.163; P<.001; η2=0.15) and for several of its subscales: overall hand function, work performance, pain, and satisfaction (all P<.05), with mean differences between groups for the total score of 16.86 points (95% CI 8.70-25.03) at 3 months and 17.21 points (95% CI 4.78-29.63) at 6 months. No time×group interaction was observed for the secondary measures (all P>.05). CONCLUSIONS: Adults with RA of the hands who used the CareHand app reported better results in the short and medium term for overall hand function, work performance, pain, and satisfaction, compared with usual care. The findings of this study suggest that the CareHand app is a promising tool for delivering exercise therapy and self-management recommendations to this population. Results must be interpreted with caution because of the lack of efficacy of the secondary outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04263974; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04263974. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.1186/s13063-020-04713-4.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , Mobile Applications , Self-Management , Adult , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Female , Humans , Pain , Self-Management/methods , Upper Extremity
2.
RMD Open ; 8(1)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769950

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The current standard of care in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) requires regular assessment of disease activity (DA). All standard RA DA measurement instruments require joint counts to be undertaken by a healthcare professional with/without a blood test. Few healthcare providers have the capacity to assess patients as frequently as stipulated by guidelines. Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) could be an efficient and informative way to assess RA DA, which is highlighted by the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, as most consultations are remote rather than face-to-face. We aimed to assess all PROMs for RA DA against the internationally recognised COSMIN guidelines to provide evidence-based recommendations to select the most suitable PROMs. METHODS: Review registered on PROSPERO as CRD42020176176. The search strategy was based on a previous similar systematic review and expanded to include all articles up to January 2019. All identified articles were rated by two independent assessors following the COSMIN guidelines. RESULTS: 668 abstracts were identified, with 10 articles included. A further 21 were identified from a previous review. Ten PROMs were identified. There was insufficient evidence to place any of the identified PROMs into recommendation for use category A due to lack of evidence for content validity, as stipulated by the COSMIN guidelines. CONCLUSION: Lack of evidence of content validity limits suitable PROM selection, therefore none can be recommended for use. It is acknowledged that all included PROMs were developed before the COSMIN guidelines were published. Future research on PROMs for RA DA must provide evidence of content validity.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/diagnosis , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Humans , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732046

ABSTRACT

The management of patients with immuno-rheumatological diseases has profoundly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and telemedicine has played an important role in the disease follow-up. In addition to monitoring disease activity and any adverse events, especially infectious events, assessing the psychological situation of the patient can be fundamental. Furthermore, COVID-19 has a serious impact on mental health and, since the beginning of the pandemic, a significantly higher incidence of anxiety disorders and depressive symptoms especially in younger people was observed. In this study, we evaluated the incidence of depressive disorders, anxiety, and fibromyalgia (FM) in our patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis during the lockdown period due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we validate the use of telemedicine in the clinical management of these patients. Mental and physical stress during the COVID-19 pandemic can greatly worsen FM symptoms and intensify patients' suffering without a clinical flare of the inflammatory disease for patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Telemedicine has allowed us to identify patients who needed a face-to-face approach for therapeutic reevaluation even if not related to a flare of the inflammatory disease. Even if our data does not allow us to draw definitive conclusions regarding the effectiveness of telemedicine as greater than or equal to the standard face-to-face approach, we continue to work by modifying our approach to try to ensure the necessary care in compliance with safety and, optimistically, this tool will become an important part of rheumatic disease management.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Psoriatic , Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Fibromyalgia , Mental Disorders , Rheumatic Diseases , Telemedicine , Arthritis, Psoriatic/complications , Arthritis, Psoriatic/epidemiology , Arthritis, Psoriatic/therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/epidemiology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Communicable Disease Control , Fibromyalgia/diagnosis , Fibromyalgia/epidemiology , Fibromyalgia/therapy , Humans , Incidence , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Pandemics , Rheumatic Diseases/epidemiology
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(3)2022 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686758

ABSTRACT

Non-surgical periodontal therapy (NSPT) has been shown to have systemic effects. It has been suggested that, similar to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), periodontitis (PD) has an impact on general health, in terms of psychological, physical, and social aspects. This study determines the effect of periodontal treatment in RA activity, health-related quality of life, and oral health self-perception before and after periodontal treatment in RA patients. A quasi-experimental, prospective, non-randomized study was conducted, and 52 patients were included in the study. Periodontal parameters and the instruments disease activity score-28 (DAS-28), SF-36, and OHIP-14 were measured at baseline and at 3 months after NSPT. All differences were statistically assessed. The study protocol was registered in Clinical Trials (NCT04658615). No statistically significant differences were found in the scores of DAS-28 before and after the intervention in the group with PD and reduced periodontium. When the effect of periodontal treatment was analyzed in the group of 29 patients who were followed up, it was found that there were statistically significant differences before and after in variables such as psychological distress, emotional role, and mental health, which indicates an improvement in the scores of these variables. NSPT influenced the health-related quality of life measured with SF-36 and OHIP-14 in patients with RA. In conclusion, NSPT has an effect on self-reported quality of life and health indicators more than the RA activity as measured with DAS-28. However, the clinical effect of periodontal treatment in RA patients provides important data to support periodontal care in patients.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , Quality of Life , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Environmental Biomarkers , Humans , Oral Health , Prospective Studies
5.
Annu Rev Immunol ; 40: 323-348, 2022 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673514

ABSTRACT

The diverse biological activity of interleukin-6 (IL-6) contributes to the maintenance of homeostasis. Emergent infection or tissue injury induces rapid production of IL-6 and activates host defense through augmentation of acute-phase proteins and immune responses. However, excessive IL-6 production and uncontrolled IL-6 receptor signaling are critical to pathogenesis. Over the years, therapeutic agents targeting IL-6 signaling, such as tocilizumab, a humanized anti-IL-6 receptor antibody, have shown remarkable efficacy for rheumatoid arthritis, Castleman disease, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and their efficacy in other diseases is continually being reported. Emerging evidence has demonstrated the benefit of tocilizumab for several types of acute inflammatory diseases, including cytokine storms induced by chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we refocus attention on the biology of IL-6 and summarize the distinct pathological roles of IL-6 signaling in several acute and chronic inflammatory diseases.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Animals , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunotherapy, Adoptive , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Signal Transduction
6.
Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 44(8): 587-598, 2021 Oct.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626213

ABSTRACT

Patients with certain immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have an increased risk of severe infectious diseases than the general population, which are mainly associated with the immunosuppressive treatments that they receive. These treatments act on the immune system through different mechanisms, causing different degrees of immunosuppression and a variable risk depending on whether the pathogen is a virus, bacteria or fungus. This article reviews the most relevant literature on the subject, which was selected and discussed by a panel of experts. The aim of this article is to review the risk of infections in patients with IBD and RA, and the potential preventive measures.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Bacterial Infections/prevention & control , Biological Therapy/adverse effects , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/adverse effects , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Hepatitis A/prevention & control , Hepatitis B/prevention & control , Herpes Zoster/prevention & control , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pneumococcal Infections/prevention & control , Risk Factors , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/prevention & control , Vaccination Coverage , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage
7.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542427

ABSTRACT

Hyperactivation of immune responses resulting in excessive release of pro-inflammatory mediators in alveoli/lung structures is the principal pathological feature of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The cytokine hyperactivation in COVID-19 appears to be similar to those seen in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease. Emerging evidence conferred the severity and risk of COVID-19 to RA patients. Amid the evidence of musculoskeletal manifestations involving immune-inflammation-dependent mechanisms and cases of arthralgia and/or myalgia in COVID-19, crosstalk between COVID-19 and RA is often debated. The present article sheds light on the pathological crosstalk between COVID-19 and RA, the risk of RA patients in acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in RA development. We also conferred whether RA can exacerbate COVID-19 outcomes based on available clinical readouts. The mechanistic overlapping in immune-inflammatory features in both COVID-19 and RA was discussed. We showed the emerging links of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-dependent and macrophage-mediated pathways in both diseases. Moreover, a detailed review of immediate challenges and key recommendations for anti-rheumatic drugs in the COVID-19 setting was presented for better clinical monitoring and management of RA patients. Taken together, the present article summarizes available knowledge on the emerging COVID-19 and RA crosstalk and their mechanistic overlaps, challenges, and therapeutic options.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Macrophages/metabolism , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
8.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(22): 2559-2573, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541262

ABSTRACT

Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a key participant in, and a clinical target for, the treatment of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Therapeutic inhibition of GM-CSF signalling using monoclonal antibodies to the α-subunit of the GM-CSF receptor (GMCSFRα) has shown clear benefit in patients with RA, giant cell arteritis (GCAs) and some efficacy in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, GM-CSF autoantibodies are associated with the development of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), a rare lung disease characterised by alveolar macrophage (AM) dysfunction and the accumulation of surfactant lipids. We assessed how the anti-GMCSFRα approach might impact surfactant turnover in the airway. Female C57BL/6J mice received a mouse-GMCSFRα blocking antibody (CAM-3003) twice per week for up to 24 weeks. A parallel, comparator cohort of the mouse PAP model, GM-CSF receptor ß subunit (GMCSFRß) knock-out (KO), was maintained up to 16 weeks. We assessed lung tissue histopathology alongside lung phosphatidylcholine (PC) metabolism using stable isotope lipidomics. GMCSFRß KO mice reproduced the histopathological and biochemical features of PAP, accumulating surfactant PC in both broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lavaged lung tissue. The incorporation pattern of methyl-D9-choline showed impaired catabolism and not enhanced synthesis. In contrast, chronic supra-pharmacological CAM-3003 exposure (100 mg/kg) over 24 weeks did not elicit a histopathological PAP phenotype despite some changes in lung PC catabolism. Lack of significant impairment of AM catabolic function supports clinical observations that therapeutic antibodies to this pathway have not been associated with PAP in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis/immunology , Pulmonary Surfactants/metabolism , Receptors, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Autoantibodies/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19/immunology , Choline/analogs & derivatives , Female , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/chemistry , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Phenotype , Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Surface-Active Agents
9.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(22): 2559-2573, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517650

ABSTRACT

Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a key participant in, and a clinical target for, the treatment of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Therapeutic inhibition of GM-CSF signalling using monoclonal antibodies to the α-subunit of the GM-CSF receptor (GMCSFRα) has shown clear benefit in patients with RA, giant cell arteritis (GCAs) and some efficacy in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, GM-CSF autoantibodies are associated with the development of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), a rare lung disease characterised by alveolar macrophage (AM) dysfunction and the accumulation of surfactant lipids. We assessed how the anti-GMCSFRα approach might impact surfactant turnover in the airway. Female C57BL/6J mice received a mouse-GMCSFRα blocking antibody (CAM-3003) twice per week for up to 24 weeks. A parallel, comparator cohort of the mouse PAP model, GM-CSF receptor ß subunit (GMCSFRß) knock-out (KO), was maintained up to 16 weeks. We assessed lung tissue histopathology alongside lung phosphatidylcholine (PC) metabolism using stable isotope lipidomics. GMCSFRß KO mice reproduced the histopathological and biochemical features of PAP, accumulating surfactant PC in both broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lavaged lung tissue. The incorporation pattern of methyl-D9-choline showed impaired catabolism and not enhanced synthesis. In contrast, chronic supra-pharmacological CAM-3003 exposure (100 mg/kg) over 24 weeks did not elicit a histopathological PAP phenotype despite some changes in lung PC catabolism. Lack of significant impairment of AM catabolic function supports clinical observations that therapeutic antibodies to this pathway have not been associated with PAP in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis/immunology , Pulmonary Surfactants/metabolism , Receptors, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Autoantibodies/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19/immunology , Choline/analogs & derivatives , Female , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/chemistry , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Phenotype , Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Surface-Active Agents
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 740249, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448730

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, treated with different immunosuppressive therapies, the induction of SARS-CoV-2-specific immune response after vaccination in terms of anti-region-binding-domain (RBD)-antibody- and T-cell-specific responses against spike, and the vaccine safety in terms of clinical impact on disease activity. Methods: Health care workers (HCWs) and RA patients, having completed the BNT162b2-mRNA vaccination in the last 2 weeks, were enrolled. Serological response was evaluated by quantifying anti-RBD antibodies, while the cell-mediated response was evaluated by a whole-blood test quantifying the interferon (IFN)-γ-response to spike peptides. FACS analysis was performed to identify the cells responding to spike stimulation. RA disease activity was evaluated by clinical examination through the DAS28crp, and local and/or systemic clinical adverse events were registered. In RA patients, the ongoing therapeutic regimen was modified during the vaccination period according to the American College of Rheumatology indications. Results: We prospectively enrolled 167 HCWs and 35 RA patients. Anti-RBD-antibodies were detected in almost all patients (34/35, 97%), although the titer was significantly reduced in patients under CTLA-4-inhibitors (median: 465 BAU/mL, IQR: 103-1189, p<0.001) or IL-6-inhibitors (median: 492 BAU/mL, IQR: 161-1007, p<0.001) compared to HCWs (median: 2351 BAU/mL, IQR: 1389-3748). T-cell-specific response scored positive in most of RA patients [24/35, (69%)] with significantly lower IFN-γ levels in patients under biological therapy such as IL-6-inhibitors (median: 33.2 pg/mL, IQR: 6.1-73.9, p<0.001), CTLA-4-inhibitors (median: 10.9 pg/mL, IQR: 3.7-36.7, p<0.001), and TNF-α-inhibitors (median: 89.6 pg/mL, IQR: 17.8-224, p=0.002) compared to HCWs (median: 343 pg/mL, IQR: 188-756). A significant correlation between the anti-RBD-antibody titer and spike-IFN-γ-specific T-cell response was found in RA patients (rho=0.432, p=0.009). IFN-γ T-cell response was mediated by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Finally, no significant increase in disease activity was found in RA patients following vaccination. Conclusion: This study showed for the first time that antibody-specific and whole-blood spike-specific T-cell responses induced by the COVID-19 mRNA-vaccine were present in the majority of RA patients, who underwent a strategy of temporary suspension of immunosuppressive treatment during vaccine administration. However, the magnitude of specific responses was dependent on the immunosuppressive therapy administered. In RA patients, BNT162b2 vaccine was safe and disease activity remained stable.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunotherapy/adverse effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
11.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1286-1298, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406632

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite growing interest, there is no guidance or consensus on how to conduct clinical trials and observational studies in populations at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: An European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) task force formulated four research questions to be addressed by systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR results informed consensus statements. One overarching principle, 10 points to consider (PTC) and a research agenda were proposed. Task force members rated their level of agreement (1-10) for each PTC. RESULTS: Epidemiological and demographic characteristics should be measured in all clinical trials and studies in at-risk individuals. Different at-risk populations, identified according to clinical presentation, were defined: asymptomatic, musculoskeletal symptoms without arthritis and early clinical arthritis. Study end-points should include the development of subclinical inflammation on imaging, clinical arthritis, RA and subsequent achievement of arthritis remission. Risk factors should be assessed at baseline and re-evaluated where appropriate; they include genetic markers and autoantibody profiling and additionally clinical symptoms and subclinical inflammation on imaging in those with symptoms and/or clinical arthritis. Trials should address the effect of the intervention on risk factors, as well as progression to clinical arthritis or RA. In patients with early clinical arthritis, pharmacological intervention has the potential to prevent RA development. Participants' knowledge of their RA risk may inform their decision to participate; information should be provided using an individually tailored approach. CONCLUSION: These consensus statements provide data-driven guidance for rheumatologists, health professionals and investigators conducting clinical trials and observational studies in individuals at risk of RA.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/prevention & control , Asymptomatic Diseases , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Observational Studies as Topic/methods , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/diagnostic imaging , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Europe , Humans , Rheumatology , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Societies, Medical
12.
Health Expect ; 25(2): 482-498, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360489

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on self-care of individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Guided by a constructivist, qualitative design, we conducted one-to-one in-depth telephone interviews between March and October 2020 with participants with RA purposively sampled for maximum variation in age, sex and education, who were participating in one of two ongoing randomized-controlled trials. An inductive, reflexive thematic analysis approach was used. RESULTS: Twenty-six participants (aged 27-73 years; 23 females) in British Columbia, Canada were interviewed. We identified three themes: (1) Adapting to maintain self-care describes how participants took measures to continue self-care activities while preventing virus transmissions. While spending more time at home, some participants reported improved self-care. (2) Managing emotions describes resilience-building strategies such as keeping perspective, positive reframing and avoiding negative thoughts. Participants described both letting go and maintaining a sense of control to accommodate difficulties and emotional responses. (3) Changing communication with health professionals outlined positive experiences of remote consultations with health professionals, particularly if good relationships had been established prepandemic. CONCLUSION: The insights gained may inform clinicians and researchers on ways to support the self-care strategies of individuals with RA and other chronic illnesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings reveal opportunities to further examine remote consultations to optimize patient engagement and care. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: This project is jointly designed and conducted with patient partners in British Columbia, Canada. Patient partners across the United Kingdom also played in a key role in providing interpretations of themes during data analysis.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/psychology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , British Columbia , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Self Care
13.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 60(SI): SI3-SI12, 2021 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276229

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on treat-to-target strategies (disease activity, remission rates) and access to physical consultations in patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease, as well as to explore characteristics of patients with/without physical consultations in the clinic and the impact of early vs established disease. METHODS: Patients with RA, PsA or axial SpA (axSpA) prospectively followed in the nationwide DANBIO registry answered online questionnaires and reported patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in June and November 2020. Patient characteristics, disease activity and physical consultations in the clinic before and during the pandemic were identified in DANBIO [all patients and subgroups with early disease (disease duration ≤2 years)]. In individual patients, changes in PROs before and during the pandemic were calculated. Characteristics of patients with/without physical consultations were described (age, gender, education level, comorbidities, disease duration, treatment). RESULTS: We included 7836 patients (22% of eligible patients), 12% of which had early disease. PROs were stable before and during the pandemic, with median changes approximating zero, as well as in patients with early disease. Remission rates were stable. The relative decrease in the number of patients with physical consultations was 21-72%, which was highest in axSpA. Characteristics of patients with/without physical consultations were similar. Self-reported satisfaction with treatment options and access was >70%; the preferred contact form was physical consultation (66%). CONCLUSION: In this nationwide study performed during the first 8 months of the pandemic, patient satisfaction was high and the PROs and remission rates remained stable despite the remarkable reduction in physical consultations, as well as in patients with early disease. Characteristics of patients with/without physical consultations appeared similar.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Psoriatic/therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19 , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Spondylarthritis/therapy , Adult , Aged , Denmark , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Prospective Studies , Registries , Remission Induction , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
14.
J Telemed Telecare ; 27(5): 298-306, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221689

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease is a systemic progressive inflammatory autoimmune disorder. Elderly-onset RA can be assumed as a benign form of RA. Until recently, face-to-face therapeutic sessions between health professionals and patients are usually the method of its treatment. However, during pandemics, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), teletherapeutic sessions can extensively increase the patient safety especially in elderly patients who are more vulnerable to these infections. Thus, the aim of this randomized clinical trial was to evaluate a novel teletherapy approach for management of elderly patients suffering from RA by utilizing laser acupuncture. METHODS: A teletherapy system was used for management of elderly patients suffering from RA. Sixty participants were allocated randomly into two groups and the ratio was 1:1. Patients in the first group were treated with laser acupuncture and telerehabilitation sessions, which consisted of aerobic exercise and virtual reality training. Patients in the second group received telerehabilitation sessions, which consisted of aerobic exercise and virtual reality training. Evaluation of patients was done by using the Health Assessment questionnaire (HAQ), the Rheumatoid Arthritis Quality of Life (RAQoL) questionnaire, and the analysis of interleukin-6 (IL-6), serum C-reactive protein (CRP), plasma adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA). RESULTS: A statistically significant difference was found in CRP, RAQoL, IL-6 and MDA between the pre- and post-treatments in the first group (p < 0.05) favouring the post-treatment group, while the HAQ showed a statistically significant difference between pre- and post-treatments (p < 0.05) in both groups. Statistically significant post-treatment differences were also observed between the two groups (p < 0.05) in RAQoL, CRP, ATP and MDA, favouring the first group. DISCUSSION: Laser acupuncture teletherapy could be suggested as a reliable treatment method for elderly patients suffering from RA, as it can provide a safe and effective therapeutic approach. Teletherapy provided safer access to health professionals and patients while giving a high patient satisfaction value with a relatively lower cost (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04684693).


Subject(s)
Acupuncture Therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Humans , Lasers , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Lasers Med Sci ; 37(1): 499-504, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141455

ABSTRACT

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive common autoimmune disorder and is one of the most functional limiting diseases in elderly. Until recently, its treatment is mainly based on physical locations and meetings while being face to face. However, laser acupuncture tele-therapy approaches can significantly provide the patient with safety during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as changing the disorder's prognosis. Sixty patients were assigned randomly into 2 groups with 1:1 ratio. Patients in group A are treated remotely by laser acupuncture in addition to methotrexate and a tele-rehabilitation program in the form of aerobic exercise training. Patients in group B are treated by methotrexate and a tele-rehabilitation program in the form of aerobic exercise. There was a statistically significant difference in health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) pre- and post-treatment in group A (p < 0.05). The C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) inflammatory markers as well as the malondialdehyde (MDA) oxidative marker showed a significant reduction pre- and post-treatment in group A (p < 0.05). Additionally, there was a significant increase in the adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) antioxidant marker pre- and post-treatment in group A (p < 0.05). The comparison between groups A and B showed a statistically significant post-treatment difference in RAQoL, CRP, IL-6, ATP, and MDA in group A than group B. Considering the significant improvement that was found in the laser acupuncture group, it can be concluded that the use of laser acupuncture as adjunctive was effective in the treatment of elderly patients with RA. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04758689.


Subject(s)
Acupuncture Therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Humans , Lasers , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
16.
Rheumatol Int ; 41(5): 843-850, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1130761

ABSTRACT

Depression is a common co-morbidity among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, which may translate into difficulty performing activities of daily living. COVID-19 is an unprecedented disaster that has disrupted lives worldwide and led to a rise in the incidence of mental health disorders. Given the widespread economic devastation due to COVID-19, many RA patients, already susceptible to mental illness, maybe at an increased risk of inaccessibility to medical care, accentuated stress, and consequent worsening of existent mental health disorders, or the onset of new mental health disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression. The objective of this review is to assess if there is an increased risk of mental health disorders in patients with RA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine has bridged the transition to remote chronic care in the pandemic period, though certain accessibility and technological challenges are to be addressed. Decreased access to care amid lockdowns and a proposed triggering of disease activity in patients with autoimmune disorders may potentially herald a massive spike in incidence or flares of patients diagnosed with RA in the coming months. Such a deluge of cases may be potentially devastating to an overburdened healthcare system. Rheumatologists may need to prepare for this eventuality and explore techniques to provide adequate care during these challenging times. The authors found that there is a significant association between the adverse impact on the mental health of RA patients and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, more research is needed to highlight individual risk factors.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Depression/psychology , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Front Immunol ; 11: 631299, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122159

ABSTRACT

Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute phase protein with a significant importance for patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRD). The central role of SAA in pathogenesis of IRD has been confirmed by recent discoveries, including its involvement in the activation of the inflammasome cascade and recruitment of interleukin 17 producing T helper cells. Clinical utility of SAA in IRD was originally evaluated nearly half a century ago. From the first findings, it was clear that SAA could be used for evaluating disease severity and monitoring disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and secondary amyloidosis. However, cost-effective and more easily applicable markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), overwhelmed its use in clinical practice. In the light of emerging evidences, SAA has been discerned as a more sensitive biomarker in a wide spectrum of IRD, especially in case of subclinical inflammation. Furthermore, a growing number of studies are confirming the advantages of SAA over many other biomarkers in predicting and monitoring response to biological immunotherapy in IRD patients. Arising scientific discoveries regarding the role of SAA, as well as delineating SAA and its isoforms as the most sensitive biomarkers in various IRD by recently developing proteomic techniques are encouraging the revival of its clinical use. Finally, the most recent findings have shown that SAA is a biomarker of severe Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this review is to discuss the SAA-involving immune system network with emphasis on mechanisms relevant for IRD, as well as usefulness of SAA as a biomarker in various IRD. Therefore, over a hundred original papers were collected through an extensive PubMed and Scopus databases search. These recently arising insights will hopefully lead to a better management of IRD patients and might even inspire the development of new therapeutic strategies with SAA as a target.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/blood , COVID-19/blood , Serum Amyloid A Protein/metabolism , Amyloidosis/blood , Amyloidosis/therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunotherapy , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/diagnosis , Severity of Illness Index , Th17 Cells/metabolism
18.
Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 12(1): 321-333, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118539

ABSTRACT

The Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's Disease (CD) are characterised by chronic non-resolving gut mucosal inflammation involving innate and adaptive immune responses. Neutrophils, usually regarded as first responders in inflammation, are a key presence in the gut mucosal inflammatory milieu in IBD. Here, we review the role of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation as a potential effector disease mechanism. NETs are extracellular webs of chromatin, microbicidal proteins and oxidative enzymes that are released by neutrophils to contain pathogens. NETs contribute to the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis; and recently, as a major tissue damaging process involved in the host response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. NETs are pertinent as a defence mechanism at the gut mucosal interphase exposed to high levels of bacteria, viruses and fungi. On the other hand, NETs can also potentiate and perpetuate gut inflammation. In this review, we discuss the broad protective vs. pathogenic roles of NETs, explanatory factors that could lead to an increase in NET formation in IBD and how NETs may contribute to gut inflammation and IBD-related complications. Finally, we summarise therapeutic opportunities to target NETs in IBD.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Traps/immunology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/pathology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/pathology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/pathology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/therapy , Neutrophils/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Rheumatol Int ; 41(2): 345-353, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064460

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic there were several barriers to treatment access and medication adherence in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. There is no information regarding the RA patient health status in Egypt during the COVID-19. Thus,the aim of this work was to study the impact of the pandemic on RA patients through a patient-reported questionnaire and to determine the influence of gender, geographic regions. This multi-centre study initiated by the Egyptian College of Rheumatology (ECR) was conducted on 1037 RA patients attending rheumatology clinics from 10 governorates. The questionnaire provided covered socio-demographic data, health/disease status, information/knowledge about COVID-19 and medical/family history of the infection. Patients mean age was 44.2 ± 12.3 years;855 females and 182 males; 539(52%) from rural and 497(48%) from urban areas. 41.8% reported a striking difficulty to obtain hydroxychloroquine during the pandemic. The majority (70%) considered maintaining a regular visit to the rheumatologist in addition to remote contact mainly by phone (44.4%) or via WhatsApp (33.1%), in particular among male and urban patients. Urban patients were more likely to be infected by COVID-19 (12.9% vs 6.2%; p < 0.0001) than rural. Northern cities had more patients with suspected COVID-19 (13.9% vs 6.1%; p < 0.0001); was significantly associated with more disease flares (30.8% vs 5.8%) with subsequent change in the RA treatment (20.9% vs 6.4%; p < 0.0001). Patients with RA faced remarkable difficulty to obtain their medications with subsequent change in their disease status. The challenges of the pandemic have hastened changes in the way we deliver health care.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Adult , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Egypt , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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