The Arthritis, Rheumatism and Aging Medical Information System (ARAMIS): Still young at 30 years

Division of Immunology & Rheumatology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, 1000 Welch Rd., Suite 203, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.
Clinical and experimental rheumatology (Impact Factor: 2.72). 01/2005; 23(5 Suppl 39):S163-7.
Source: PubMed


Chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer are among major public health concerns. To understand their cumulative risk factors and antecedents, a chronic disease databank consisting of time-oriented, multidisciplinary longitudinal data, prospectively collected on consecutive patients and describing their clinical courses, provides a systematic anthology of patient reported outcome (PRO) data. ARAMIS, which began in the mid-1970s, was the first large-scale chronic disease data bank system. Outcomes data are collected using the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), a well established PRO instrument that collects patient-centered data in the areas of disability, pain and other symptoms, adverse effects of treatment, economic impact, and mortality. More than 900 peer-reviewed studies have emanated from ARAMIS since its inception. In the earlier days, and even today, ARAMIS had to invent its own tools for the study of these new sciences. ARAMIS has made dominant contributions to the understanding of PROs and to helping improve treatment and health outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), scleroderma, lupus, aging, and drug side effects. It continues to traverse terrain with participation in the NIH "Roadmap" project, the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS). PROMIS is designed to provide improved assessment of health status across all chronic illnesses as part of an improved infrastructure for clinical research. As initiator of the rich history of chronic disease data banks with "rolling" consecutive open patient cohorts, ARAMIS has enabled the study of real-world PROs in rheumatology, with a wealth of resultant improved approaches to treatment, outcome, cost effectiveness, and quality of life.

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Available from: James F Fries, May 28, 2015
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    • "The Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), developed originally at Stanford in the late 1970’s to assess patients with rheumatoid arthritis, has been validated in a broad range of rheumatic and non-rheumatic disease populations [46, 47]. In particular, the HAQ Disability Index (HAQ-DI) assesses disability and the full HAQ collects data on disability, pain, medication effects, mortality, and healthcare resource use (care costs), [46] including both direct (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundKnee osteoarthritis (OA) causes pain and long-term disability with annual healthcare costs exceeding $185 billion in the United States. Few medical remedies effectively influence the course of the disease. Finding effective treatments to maintain function and quality of life in patients with knee OA is one of the national priorities identified by the Institute of Medicine. We are currently conducting the first comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness randomized trial of Tai Chi versus a physical-therapy regimen in a sample of patients with symptomatic and radiographically confirmed knee OA. This article describes the design and conduct of this trial.Methods/DesignA single-center, 52-week, comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi versus a standardized physical-therapy regimen is being conducted at an urban tertiary medical center in Boston, Massachusetts. The study population consists of adults ≥ 40 years of age with symptomatic and radiographic knee OA (American College of Rheumatology criteria). Participants are randomly allocated to either 12 weeks of Tai Chi (2x/week) or Physical Therapy (2x/week for 6 weeks, followed by 6 weeks of rigorously monitored home exercise). The primary outcome measure is pain (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities WOMAC) subscale at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes include WOMAC stkiffness and function domain scores, lower extremity strength and power, functional balance, physical performance tests, psychological and psychosocial functioning, durability effects, health related quality of life, and healthcare utilization at 12, 24 and 52 weeks.DiscussionThis study will be the first randomized comparative-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness trial of Tai Chi versus Physical Therapy in a large symptomatic knee OA population with long-term follow up. We present here a robust and well-designed randomized comparative-effectiveness trial that also explores multiple outcomes to elucidate the potential mechanisms of mind-body effect for a major disabling disease with substantial health burdens and economic costs. Results of this study are expected to have important public health implications for the large and growing population with knee OA.Trial identifier: NCT01258985Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-333) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "The initial pool of potential participants for the two studies consisted of 2,723 adult men and women. They included participants in our prior cohort studies (n = 2,490) from the Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Aging Medical Information System (ARAMIS) [9]. ARAMIS participants were composed of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis populations (n = 1,496) and healthy aging populations from the University of Pennsylvania longitudinal studies of aging (n = 325) [10] and the aging, osteoarthritis and exercise study (n = 669) [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Disability and Physical Function (PF) outcome assessment has had limited ability to measure functional status at the floor (very poor functional abilities) or the ceiling (very high functional abilities). We sought to identify, develop and evaluate new floor and ceiling items to enable broader and more precise assessment of PF outcomes for the NIH Patient-Reported-Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). We conducted two cross-sectional studies using NIH PROMIS item improvement protocols with expert review, participant survey and focus group methods. In Study 1, respondents with low PF abilities evaluated new floor items, and those with high PF abilities evaluated new ceiling items for clarity, importance and relevance. In Study 2, we compared difficulty ratings of new floor items by low functioning respondents and ceiling items by high functioning respondents to reference PROMIS PF-10 items. We used frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations to analyze the data. In Study 1, low (n = 84) and high (n = 90) functioning respondents were mostly White, women, 70 years old, with some college, and disability scores of 0.62 and 0.30. More than 90% of the 31 new floor and 31 new ceiling items were rated as clear, important and relevant, leaving 26 ceiling and 30 floor items for Study 2. Low (n = 246) and high (n = 637) functioning Study 2 respondents were mostly White, women, 70 years old, with some college, and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) scores of 1.62 and 0.003. Compared to difficulty ratings of reference items, ceiling items were rated to be 10% more to greater than 40% more difficult to do, and floor items were rated to be about 12% to nearly 90% less difficult to do. These new floor and ceiling items considerably extend the measurable range of physical function at either extreme. They will help improve instrument performance in populations with broad functional ranges and those concentrated at one or the other extreme ends of functioning. Optimal use of these new items will be assisted by computerized adaptive testing (CAT), reducing questionnaire burden and insuring item administration to appropriate individuals.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Arthritis research & therapy
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    • "We assessed participants using mailed questionnaires, randomly ordering instruments within questionnaires to eliminate order effects. We followed established Arthritis Rheumatism and Aging Medical Information System protocols for follow up and quality control [17]. "
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