Background: Recognition, diagnosis, and management of axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) continue to advance.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to compare referrals, diagnosis, and management of axial SpA in Western Europe (WE), North America (US and Canada), and the rest of world (RoW) in academic and community rheumatology practices and to identify areas for further education. Methods: Rheumatologists responded online to theMAXIMA (Management of Axial SpA International and Multicentric Approaches) survey. Questions pertained to referral, diagnosis, and management of axial SpA.
Results: Rheumatologists (N = 809) from 56 countries completed the survey about patients with chronic back pain (≥3 months) starting before age 45 years. Responses from academic and community practice rheumatologists were generally similar.Most referrals were fromprimary care providers. Symptom duration of 3 years or more at referral was reported more frequently by WE and RoW than US respondents. More WE and RoW than US rheumatologists referred to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society criteria for axial SpA in clinical practice. Rheumatologists reported prescribing disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for the management of axial SpA. Sulfasalazine was frequently prescribed across regions; methotrexate was more commonly prescribed by US rheumatologists compared with other regions.
Conclusions: Referral patterns, diagnosis, and disease management for axial SpAwere similar amongWE, North America, and RoWrheumatologists and in academic/community practices, although more WE and RoW rheumatologists referred to Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society criteria in clinical practice. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs were commonly prescribed for axial SpA patients, although it was unclear whether these were prescribed for axial or peripheral symptoms.
- Axial spondyloarthritis
- Disease management
- Referral patterns
ASJC Scopus subject areas