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Suspected very early inflammatory rheumatic diseases in primary care.

Mallen; Hider



As primary care clinicians are typically the first point of contact for patients with musculoskeletal problems, they are crucial to the early diagnosis and treatment of patients with an incident inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis. Current UK and international guidelines recognise this, recommending the prompt referral of patients with suspected persistent synovitis to secondary care. In England and Wales, this is advised to occur within 3 working days. However, recent audit data suggests this recommendation is infrequently met, with some patients waiting many months for referral. In this review article we will discuss the various challenges to achieving the early referral of patients with a new-onset inflammatory arthritis from primary to secondary care. We will also describe how these challenges could potentially be overcome, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the right patients are referred to the right services, and at the right time.


Mallen, & Hider. (2019). Suspected very early inflammatory rheumatic diseases in primary care.

Acceptance Date Jan 15, 2019
Publication Date Aug 1, 2019
Journal Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol
Pages 101419 - ?
Keywords arthritis rheumatoid; primary health care