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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

IMAJ | volume 23

Journal 11, November 2021
pages: 693-698

Perceived Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis: When the Physician’s Gender Matters

Summary

Background:

In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), females usually have a worse prognosis. To date, the influence of physician gender in the evaluation of RA activity is still largely unknown.

Objectives:

To investigate the discrepancy in RA disease activity assessment between male and female physicians and to compare patient and evaluator perception of disease activity and global health (GH) status.

Methods:

One female and one male rheumatologist evaluated 154 RA patients recording tender and swollen joint count, GH, evaluator global assessment (EGA), and patient global assessment (PGA) disease activity. A third rheumatologist calculated DAS28, CDAI, and SDAI. Difference was evaluated by Wilcoxon test. Physician–patient agreement was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient.

Results:

GH, PGA, and DAS28 were higher when recorded by the female examiner. Male EGA was higher than female. Among male patients, PGA was higher when collected by the female examiner. The probability of being judged as having an active disease did not rely on physician gender. The agreement with the physician’s evaluation of disease activity was high. PGA values were higher than EGA in both examiners. The physician–patient agreement was moderate for the male examiner and good for the female. The female physician had a higher agreement with both genders.

Conclusions:

Subjective measure of disease activity differs between female and male rheumatologists, contributing to a different evaluation of disease activity. Patients have a higher perception of disease activity compared to physicians. The stronger agreement between female physicians and patients may be related to a more emphatic setting established by the female physician

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