Prognosis in the Rheumatic Diseases

pp 321-332


  • F. Wolfe

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Musculoskeletal aching and concomitant soft-tissue rheumatism are the most common rheumatic disorders. They are rarely identified as “diseases” or “disorders” in population surveys because of the difficulty in reliable diagnosis1,2 . Clinicians have similar troubles. Pain in the arm, leg, buttock, or chest, for example, is often difficult to understand and explain, and can be attributed to disk disorders, neuritis, bursitis, tendonitis, myositis, arthritis, myofascial pain, and psychologic disturbance. Few validation studies relating to diagnostic accuracy have been performed in these conditions and, although they remain common in the clinic, their vagueness and lack of adequate definition and validated criteria has generally excluded them as subjects for valued research.