Treat-to-target: A tailored treatment approach to rheumatoid arthritis

ArticleinBritish journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing) 22(6):308-18 · March 2013with8 Reads
DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2013.22.6.308 · Source: PubMed

    Abstract

    In contrast to articles and books written about rheumatoid arthritis (RA) two or more decades ago that largely focused on 'coping' with the disease, there have been significant developments in the treatment of RA over the past 10 years. Patients can now be diagnosed and treated and expect to live functional lives, with less likelihood of experiencing the associated joint damage and disability. An important goal of RA therapy has shifted to initiate treatment early and aggressively, with frequent assessment and a target to achieve remission as quickly as possible. This 'treat-to-target' concept has been endorsed to maximise long-term health-related quality of life through control of symptoms, prevention of structural damage, normalisation of function and social participation. This article will look at therapies and strategies for the treatment of RA. It will also discuss a treatment algorithm for rheumatoid arthritis tailored to the individual patient's disease activity status.