Measurement of the effects of treatment by the patient
The patient’s assessment of the effects of treatment is the most important of all assessments. If a patient does not feel better, he is not better, since relief of symptoms is the object of most treatment. No matter how sophisticated and accurate measurements of disease processes become, it will always be necessary to demonstrate that curing or controlling the disease was associated with relief of the symptoms. Patients with rheumatic diseases have three main symptoms: pain, stiffness, and disability. I shall discuss the measurement of these suggest that we should turn our attention to another subjective measure-outcome.
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