Monday, 22 Jan 2018

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"Lost to Follow-up" Patients are Common in Rheumatology

The frequency of not returning (lost to follow-up) (LTFU) in patients with rheumatic diseases is high. Associated demographic factors included older age in RA, female gender in SLE and Ps/PsA, and younger age in Ps/PsA, with various reasons for being LTFU. Recognizing these associated factors and reasons for being LTFU may help to improve the attendance of patients and the quality of medical care.

The frequency of LTFU was significantly different between the four rheumatic diseases (p = 0.028). Being LTFU in the patients with RA  was higher (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00–1.04; p = 0.033), but reduced being LTFU in those with Ps/PsA (OR 0.96; 95% CI 0.92–0.99; p = 0.021). Female patients with SLE and Ps/PsA were more likely to be LTFU, although this did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.056 and 0.071, respectively). The most common reason for being LTFU was moving to other district hospitals from the original medical center due to convenience for the patients with RA and SLE, and stopping medication due to minimal symptoms for the patients with AS and Ps/PsA.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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