Effective education of clinical skills is essential if doctors are to meet the needs of patients with rheumatic disease, but shrinking faculty numbers has made clinical teaching difficult. A solution to this problem is to utilize patient educators.
This study evaluates the teaching effectiveness of patient educators compared to rheumatology faculty using the musculoskeletal (MSK) examination.
Sixty-two 2nd-year medical students were randomized to receive instruction from patient educators or faculty. Tutorial groups received instructions during three, 3-hr sessions. Clinical skills were evaluated by a 9 station objective structured clinical examination. Students completed a tutor evaluation form to assess their level of satisfaction with the process.
Faculty-taught students received a higher overall mark (66.5% vs. 62.1%,) and fewer failed than patient educator-taught students (5 vs. 0, p = 0.02). Students rated faculty educators higher than patient educators (4.13 vs. 3.58 on a 5-point Likert scale).
Rheumatology faculty appear to be more effective teachers of the MSK physical exam than patient educators.
The (ever) prevalence of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) can vary widely depending on the definition used. We determined the prevalence of NPSLE in 1000 Faces of Lupus, a large multicenter Canadian cohort.
Adults enrolled at 10 sites who satisfied the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were included. NPSLE was defined as (i) NPSLE by ACR classification criteria (seizures or psychosis), (ii) ACR, SLEDAI (seizure, psychosis, organic brain syndrome, cranial nerve disorder, headache, and cerebrovascular accident (CVA)), SLAM (CVA, seizure, cortical dysfunction, and headache), and SLICC (cognitive impairment, psychosis, seizures, CVA, cranial or peripheral neuropathy, and transverse myelitis) with and (iii) without minor nonspecific NPSLE manifestations (including mild depression, mild cognitive impairment, and electromyogram-negative neuropathies), and (iv) by ACR and SLEDAI neuropsychiatric (NP) indexes alone. Factors associated with NPSLE were explored using regression models.
Cohort size was 1253, with mean disease 12 ± 10 years, mean age 41 ± 16 years, and 86% female. Subgroup size was dependent on the specific definition of NPSLE. Prevalence of NPSLE was 6.4% in group (i), n = 1253 (n = 80); 38.6% in group (ii), n = 681(n = 263); 28.7% in group (iii), n = 586 (n = 168); and 10.2% in group (iv), n = 1125 (n = 115). In univariate analysis, Aboriginals had a nearly 2-fold increase in frequency of NPSLE in all groups. Education level and income were not associated with NPSLE (P = 0.32 and 0.03, respectively). As well, number of ACR criteria, SLAM, age at diagnosis, disease duration, and gender were not associated with NPSLE. Anti-Ro was significantly associated in groups (i) and (iv) and antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) were increased in groups (i), (ii), and (iii); however, this lost significance when thromboembolic events were excluded from SLICC, SLEDAI, and SLAM indexes. In group (iv), absence of anti-Sm was significant. In multivariate analysis, anti-Ro and aPL (i) and anti-Ro+ and lack of anti-Sm (iv) were significant. NPSLE was not increased in those with +anti-DNA, La, or ribonucleoprotein (RNP), lupus anticoagulant (LAC), or anticardiolipin (aCL) antibody.
The prevalence and factors associated with NPSLE varied depending on the definition used, was highest in Aboriginals, and may be higher if +anti-Ro or aPL are present. SLAM and SLICC include mild subjective disease manifestations, which contributed to a 10% higher prevalence of NPSLE compared to a more strict definition. NPSLE may be less in this database than other publications as its overall prevalence may be decreasing, or because of selection bias inherent to those who enter an observational cohort. NPSLE was associated with aPL and often anti-Ro and varied by ethnicity.
From the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC); Division of Rheumatology, MUHC; Division of Clinical Immunology/Allergy, MUHC; Jewish General Hospital and McGill University; Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont and University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec; University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto; University of Western Ontario, London; University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario; and Lethbridge Regional Hospital, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate factors affecting therapeutic approaches used in clinical practice for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), in a multicenter cohort. METHODS: We combined data from 10 clinical adult SLE cohort registries in Canada. We used multivariate generalized estimating equation methods to model dichotomized outcomes, running separate regressions where the outcome was current exposure of the patient to specific medications. Potential predictors of medication use included demographic (baseline age, sex, residence, race/ethnicity) and clinical factors (disease duration, time-dependent damage index scores, and adjusted mean SLE Disease Activity Index-2K scores). The models also adjusted for clustering by center. RESULTS: Higher disease activity and damage scores were each independent predictors of exposure to nonsteroid immunosuppressive agents, and for exposure to prednisone. This was not definitely demonstrated for antimalarial agents. Older age at diagnosis was independently and inversely associated with exposure to any of the agents studied (immunosuppressive agents, prednisone, and antimalarial agents). An additional independent predictor of prednisone exposure was black race/ethnicity (adjusted RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.18, 1.81). For immunosuppressive exposure, an additional independent predictor was race/ethnicity, with greater exposure among Asians (RR 1.39, 95% CI 1.02, 1.89) and persons identifying themselves as First Nations/Inuit (2.09, 95% CI 1.43, 3.04) than among whites. All of these findings were reproduced when adjustment for disease activity was limited to renal involvement. CONCLUSION: Ours is the first portrayal of determinants of clinical practice patterns in SLE, and offers interesting real-world insights. Further work, including efforts to determine how differing clinical approaches may influence outcome, is in progress.
To describe disease expression and damage accrual in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and determine the influence of ethnicity and socioeconomic factors on damage accrual in a large multiethnic Canadian cohort.
Adults with SLE were enrolled in a multicenter cohort. Data on sociodemographic factors, diagnostic criteria, disease activity, autoantibodies, treatment, and damage were collected using standardized tools, and results were compared across ethnic groups. We analyzed baseline data, testing for differences in sociodemographic and clinical factors, between the different ethnic groups, in univariate analyses; significant variables from univariate analyses were included in multivariate regression models examining for differences between ethnic groups, related to damage scores.
We studied 1416 patients, including 826 Caucasians, 249 Asians, 122 Afro-Caribbeans, and 73 Aboriginals. Although the overall number of American College of Rheumatology criteria in different ethnic groups was similar, there were differences in individual manifestations and autoantibody profiles. Asian and Afro-Caribbean patients had more frequent renal involvement and more exposure to immunosuppressives. Aboriginal patients had high frequencies of antiphospholipid antibodies and high rates of comorbidity, but disease manifestations similar to Caucasians. Asian patients had the youngest age at onset and the lowest damage scores. Aboriginals had the least education and lowest incomes. The final regression model (R2=0.27) for higher damage score included older age, longer disease duration, low income, prednisone treatment, higher disease activity, and cyclophosphamide treatment.
There are differences in lupus phenotypes between ethnic populations. Although ethnicity was not found to be a significant independent predictor of damage accrual, low income was.
Pleuritis is a common manifestation and independent predictor of mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We examined the prevalence of pleuritis and factors associated with pleuritis in a multicenter Canadian SLE cohort.
We studied consecutive adults satisfying the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for SLE who had a completed Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR Damage Index (SDI) score, at least 1 evaluable extractable nuclear antigen assay, and either a SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) or a SLE Activity Measure score. Pleuritis was defined as having pleuritis by satisfying the ACR criteria or the SLEDAI. Factors related to pleuritis were examined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.
In our cohort of 876 patients, 91% were women, 65% Caucasian, mean age (+/- SD) was 46.8 +/- 13.5 years, and disease duration at study entry was 12.1 +/- 9.9 years; the prevalence of pleuritis was 34% (n = 296). Notably, greater disease duration (p = 0.002), higher SDI score (p