2012 Grant Awards
The posters and papers listed below each grant arise from work facilitated through the grant funding.
The Early Arthritis Screening & Treatment (EAST) program for Eastern Quebec
Principal Investigator: Fortin, P. (PDF)
Co-investigators: Bessette, L; Brown, J; Chetaille, A; Légaré, J; Martineau, J; Michou, L.
The overarching goal of the EAST program were to increase the number of new cases of inflammatory arthritis patients seen early by a rheumatologist as well as to decrease the time to consultation and initiation of adequate arthritis treatments in northeastern Quebec. From an operational perspective, we proposed to 1) train a multidisciplinary team of allied health professionals to perform a focused joint examination and be proficient in the care of IA; 2) document key quality indicators of performance; and 3) educate stakeholders about the importance of early and accurate diagnosis of IA.
This project allowed us to document the nature and magnitude of the problem with arthritis care in our hospital and in our administrative region. Armed with this information, we were able to start the first step toward the improvement of the arthritis care trajectory in our division of rheumatology at the CHU de Québec – Université Laval. The EAST program has been a steppingstone towards a new Model of Care in rheumatology in our region. This Model of Care is still in development and this demonstrates the uptake from our institution that is a direct consequence of this CIORA initial research project.
Our results were encouraging. The early arthritis patients for whom complete data were obtained demonstrated that the wait times for our two key indicators of performance: a) time from referral to first visit and b) time from referral to first DMARD have decreased even though they remain unacceptable on average for the time from referral to time to starting methotrexate at 125 days in the EAST program down from 154 days before.
The data also demonstrated an increase in the number of patients meeting the Arthritis Alliance of Canada guidelines which suggest that a patient should be seen by a rheumatologist within 4 weeks from referral and should start a DMARD within 12 weeks from the first symptoms.
Presented at the 2016 Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting.