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Kloppenburg M, Kroon FP, Blanco FJ, et al. 2018 update of the EULAR recommendations for the management of hand osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Aug 28. pii: annrheumdis-2018-213826. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213826. (Evidence-based guideline)
Abstract

Since publication of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for management of hand osteoarthritis (OA) in 2007 new evidence has emerged. The aim was to update these recommendations. EULAR standardised operating procedures were followed. A systematic literature review was performed, collecting the evidence regarding all non-pharmacological, pharmacological and surgical treatment options for hand OA published to date. Based on the evidence and expert opinion from an international task force of 19 physicians, healthcare professionals and patients from 10 European countries formulated overarching principles and recommendations. Level of evidence, grade of recommendation and level of agreement were allocated to each statement. Five overarching principles and 10 recommendations were agreed on. The overarching principles cover treatment goals, information provision, individualisation of treatment, shared decision-making and the need to consider multidisciplinary and multimodal (non-pharmacological, pharmacological, surgical) treatment approaches. Recommendations 1-3 cover different non-pharmacological treatment options (education, assistive devices, exercises and orthoses). Recommendations 4-8 describe the role of different pharmacological treatments, including topical treatments (preferred over systemic treatments, topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) being first-line choice), oral analgesics (particularly NSAIDs to be considered for symptom relief for a limited duration), chondroitin sulfate (for symptom relief), intra-articular glucocorticoids (generally not recommended, consider for painful interphalangeal OA) and conventional/biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (discouraged). Considerations for surgery are described in recommendation 9. The last recommendation relates to follow-up. The presented EULAR recommendations provide up-to-date guidance on the management of hand OA, based on expert opinion and research evidence.

Ratings
Discipline Area Score
Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) 6 / 7
Comments from MORE raters

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

This is an important article that provides guidelines for management of arthritis in Europe and should be considered by practitioners in the USA.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

This guide clarifies useful perspectives with caution for managing hand OA. The guide should not be implemented on the basis of bullet points, but on a review of the accompanying commentary relevant to each recommendation and a firm eye on individual presentation.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

Good summary of available evidence. The discussion of a holistic approach of multi-disciplinary treatment is highly relevant, and emphasis is placed on individualising the treatment plan to each patient.
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