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Comparative performance of psoriatic arthritis screening tools in patients with psoriasis in European/North American dermatology clinics

      Background

      General practitioners/dermatologists may be aware of musculoskeletal symptoms in patients with psoriasis but may have difficulty accurately detecting psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

      Objective

      We sought to evaluate 3 PsA screening questionnaires–the Psoriasis and Arthritis Screening Questionnaire (PASQ), Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool (PEST), and Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Screen (ToPAS)–based on rheumatologist assessment in patients with psoriasis.

      Methods

      Consecutive unselected patients with psoriasis, initially evaluated by dermatologists for plaque psoriasis, were randomized to receive 1 of 3 questionnaires. Patients were subsequently evaluated by rheumatologists to establish/exclude clinical PsA diagnosis. Using clinical PsA diagnosis as the standard for comparison, questionnaire accuracy was assessed by calculating sensitivity/specificity and positive/negative predictive values.

      Results

      Of 949 patients with psoriasis evaluated by rheumatologists, 285 (30%) received a clinical diagnosis of PsA (95% confidence interval 27%-33%). Probable PsA was detected in 45.1%, 43.0%, and 42.9% of patients using PASQ, PEST, and ToPAS, respectively. Sensitivity ranged from 0.67 to 0.84; specificity, 0.64 to 0.75; positive predictive value, 0.43 to 0.60; and negative predictive value, 0.83 to 0.91.

      Limitations

      Not all patients completed all questionnaires; lack of standardized diagnostic criteria introduced possible bias.

      Conclusion

      PASQ, PEST, and ToPAS are useful screening tools that can help dermatologists identify patients without PsA and patients with possible PsA who may benefit from rheumatologist assessment.

      Key words

      Abbreviations used:

      PASQ (Psoriasis and Arthritis Screening Questionnaire), PEST (Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool), PsA (psoriatic arthritis), ToPAS (Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Screen)
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