A delay in the diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis was revealed

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The current delay to diagnosis from the onset of symptoms represents one of the biggest challenges of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA): a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the back. Research shows an average delay of almost 7 years – and up to 15 years in some cases – during which the disease can progress and cause irreversible damage. The data indicate that women wait longer than men to get a diagnosis and there has been very limited progress in reducing the time to diagnosis. This delay has a hugely detrimental impact on a person’s quality of life. Because the disease has a frequent early onset, individuals are not treated (or have symptoms treated incorrectly) in a formative period of their lives.

The International Federation of Axial Aspondyloarthritis (ASIF) set out to coordinate a global review based on global evidence of influencing factors today. to axSpA, and to produce a definitive report that illuminates these barriers, as well as providing a resource that can ultimately enable a number of international stakeholders to reduce this delay.

At the 2021 EULAR conference, Wendy Gerhart and colleagues report on the results of a comprehensive literature review and two virtual events of the global forum, involving patients and representatives of patient groups, researchers, rheumatologists and others. . . The aim was to explore the main challenges of diagnosis in different health systems and identify opportunities to address them. Discussion discussions were held and participants were asked to identify the personal and social effects of the diagnostic delay, the reasons why it occurs, and the initiatives to address the challenge. Along with key stakeholder testimonials, best practices from around the world were also identified. A total of 92 stakeholders participated in the events, representing patients and healthcare professionals from 23 countries on five continents.

The results of these activities were incorporated into a new report “Delay in diagnosis”, which for the first time definitively sets out the realities experienced from a global perspective of the delay in the diagnosis of axSpA. The report identifies important commonalities between different countries and health systems that contribute to the current global 7-year diagnosis delay. These include: 1) poor awareness of axSpA, especially in primary care services; 2) complexities in the diagnosis of the disease; 3) poorly defined derivation pathways; and 4) insufficient patient access to rheumatologists and appropriate diagnoses.

The report also highlights the significant impact this delay has on people and society at large, providing the basis for future advocacy work. A number of recommendations have been identified, the implementation of which will help to make tangible progress in reducing delays.

Despite long-standing challenges, there are now clear opportunities to transform the way axSpA is diagnosed worldwide. This message must be heard and acted upon urgently by all involved in the management and delivery of axSpA care. The future work program of the ASIF Diagnosis Delay project will respond to these findings and will focus on supporting axSpA patient associations around the world to take forward this call to action throughout 2021 and beyond. beyond.


Timely detection of axial spondyloarthritis


Provided by the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology

Citation: Delay in diagnosis of revealed axial spondyloarthritis (2021, June 18) recovered on June 19, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-diagnosis-axial-spondyloarthritis-revealed.html

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