Quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Does abatacept make a difference?

Kaleb Michaud, Claire Bombardier, Paul Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, rogressive, autoimmune disease that, in addition to causing joint damage, is associated with pain, fatigue, disability and functional loss, which can substantially decrease a patient's quality of life (QoL). Along with improvements in signs and symptoms, QoL benefits have become increasingly important in optimizing treatment outcomes in RA. Measurements of QoL have previously been under-used in all areas of medicine and only recently have clinical trials included them as a measure of treatment effectiveness. The existence of a positive relationship between improvements in signs and symptoms and concomitant improvements in QoL provides additional evidence that QoL measures are useful benchmarks for evaluating the effectiveness of treatment for RA. Furthermore, since these outcome measures evaluate the real-life, patient-centered benefits of RA therapies, they are likely to become increasingly central to the assessment of disease impact in clinical trials and practice, and to both drug approval and reimbursement decisions. This article reviews the impact of abatacept, a selective co-stimulation modulator on the QoL of patients with active RA across a number of pivotal clinical trials. Firstly, an overview of the key QoL measurements used in abatacept clinical trials is provided, including those such as the Short Form-36, Health Assessment Questionnaire and Visual Analog Scale for pain, sleep and fatigue. We then present QoL data obtained in a wide range of patients with RA, including those with an inadequate response to either methotrexate or anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy, who have been treated with abatacept. Analysis of these data demonstrates that abatacept therapy has the potential to improve QoL across a range of patients with RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)s35-s45
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Issue number5 SUPPL. 46
StatePublished - 2007


  • Abatacept
  • Quality of life
  • Quality of life assessments
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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