Definition and construct validation of clinically relevant cutoffs on the Flare Assessment in Rheumatoid Arthritis (FLARE-RA) questionnaire

Elena Myasoedova, Annette De Thurah, Marie-Line Erpelding, Emilce E. Schneeberger, Thomas Maribo, Gustavo Citera, John M. Davis, Eric L. Matteson, Cynthia S. Crowson, Bruno Fautrel & Francis Guillemin.


The Flare Assessment in Rheumatoid Arthritis (FLARE-RA) questionnaire was devised for the detection of flares in patients with RA. We aimed to define construct validity and cut-off(s) for the FLARE-RA questionnaire.


This cross-sectional study included adult patients with prevalent RA (2010 ACR/EULAR criteria) attending outpatient rheumatology clinics in France ( n =?138), Denmark ( n =?253), USA ( n =?75), and Argentina ( n =?105). Flare occurrence over the past 3 months was assessed with the FLARE-RA questionnaire scoring from 0 (no flare) to 10 (maximum flare). The cut-offs for the FLARE-RA score were defined using the following anchor items obtained at the same encounter: (1) Patient report of flare; (2) DAS28-CRP > 3.2; (3) Change of anti-rheumatic treatment, based on the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and distance to (0,1).


Four hundred seventy four patients with RA duration =2 years (mean age 58.6 years, 74.9% female) were included in the main analysis. The discrimination for the FLARE-RA cut-offs was acceptable-to-excellent: AUC for the global FLARE-RA score ranged from 0.71 to 0.92. The cut-offs for the FLARE-RA score were lower using “patient report of flare” than DAS28-CRP and “change of anti-rheumatic treatment”. Proposed FLARE-RA cut-offs for clinical detection and change of anti-rheumatic treatment are 2 and 5, respectively, for patients with RA duration 2–5 years, and 2 and 3.5, respectively, for patients with RA duration >5 years.


Proposed FLARE-RA cut-offs have acceptable discriminative capacity across the tested anchor items and are expected to aid in early recognition and timely management of RA flares.

Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2020
Udgiver Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
ISBN/ISSN 31526593
Længde 4 sider


Thomas Maribo

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Thomas Maribo