Does hand involvement in systemic sclerosis limit completion of patient-reported outcome measures?

Tracy M. Frech*, John M. VanBuren, Emily Startup, Shervin Assassi, Elana J. Bernstein, Flavia V. Castelino, Lorinda Chung, Chase Correia, Jessica K. Gordon, Faye N. Hant, Laura Hummers, Dinesh Khanna, Nora Sandorfi, Ami A. Shah, Victoria K. Shanmugam, Virginia Steen, Luke Evnin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The objective of this analysis is to examine whether the severity of systemic sclerosis (SSc)-hand involvement influences patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) completion rate in a US cohort of early disease. Participants included SSc patients with less than 5 years disease duration consented and enrolled in the Collaborative, National, Quality, and Efficacy Registry (CONQUER) between June 2018 and December 2019. Participants’ socio-demographics, hand clinical features (severe modified Rodnan skin score, presence of small joint contractures, acro-osteolysis, calcinosis, and digital ulcers), and completion rates of seven PROMs including a Resource Use Questionnaire were analyzed. Cohort characteristics and baseline PROM completion were evaluated. Multivariable logistic regression assessed the relationship between hand limitations and PROM incompletion at several time points using generalized estimating equations. At the time of data lock, 339 CONQUER subjects had a total of 600 visits available for analysis. Calcinosis (odds ratio [OR] 6.35, confidence interval [CI] 2.41–16.73 and acro-osteolysis OR 3.88 (1.57–9.55) were significantly associated with incomplete PROM. The Resource Use Questionnaire was the PROM most commonly not completed. Increasing age was correlated with resource use questionnaire incompletion rate. Acro-osteolysis and calcinosis were associated with lower PROM completion rates in a US SSc cohort, independent of the length of the questionnaires or the modality of administration (electronic or paper). Resource Use Questionnaires are important for understanding the economic impact and burden of chronic disease; however, in this study, it had lower completion rates than PROMs devoted to clinical variables.Key points•Multiple strategies are needed to ensure optimal completion of PROM in longitudinal cohort studies. Even if patients request electronic surveys, we have found it is important to follow up incomplete surveys with paper forms provided at the time of a clinical visit.•The Resource Utilization Questionnaire was lengthy and prone to non-completion in the younger population.•Acro-osteolysis and calcinosis were associated with reduced PROM completion rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-971
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Disability
  • Patient reported outcomes measures
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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