Involvement of the multidisciplinary team and outcomes in inpatient rehabilitation among patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease


BACKGROUND: The last decades have for patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases seen a shift towards more physically active rehabilitation programs, often provided as out-patients with less use of inpatient facilities. There is little research on which effect the multidisciplinary team has on health outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and connective tissue disease. This study examined patient reported outcomes for patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases receiving rehabilitation care as inpatients in departments of rheumatology, and studied how number of consultations with the multidisciplinary team affected these clinical outcomes. METHODS: Patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases were included in a multi-center prospective observational study if rehabilitation was considered a focus during an inpatient stay at four departments of rheumatology. At admission, discharge, and after 3 and 6 months, 317 patients were assessed with patients reported outcomes (PRO) including health assessment questionnaire (HAQ), short-form 36 (SF-36), pain, fatigue, patient global assessment of disease activity, self-efficacy scales, rheumatoid arthritis disease activity index (RADAI), and SF-6D utility. Patients stated consultations with the multidisciplinary team. RESULTS: Improvements were short-lived, and at 6 months follow-up period only mental health, pain and utility remained improved with small effect sizes. Extensive involvement of health professionals was not associated with improved outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease receiving inpatient multidisciplinary rehabilitation had small and mainly short-term improvements in most PROs. High use of the multidisciplinary team did not enhance or preserve rehabilitation outcomes in inflammatory rheumatic conditions when admitted as inpatients.

BMC musculoskeletal disorders