Stucki, Gerold and Liang, Matthew H.
Efficacy of rehabilitation interventions in rheumatic conditions.
In: Current Opinion in Rheumatology, Vol. 6, No. 2: pp. 153-158
All industrialized nations are facing a crisis in health care financing. Rising expectations coupled with increasing specialization and technologic capacities have forced health care payers to examine their assumptions and to seek data on the outcomes of medical interventions. Clinical investigators who have been taught to use randomized controlled trials that evaluate efficacy under experimental conditions have been redirected toward studies that can help answer health policy questions. Such studies examine the effectiveness of interventions in more realistic settings on a richer array of patient-centered outcomes such as function and consider cost effectiveness and relative cost effectiveness. Rehabilitation interventions, which are by and large pragmatic, have never had a strong scientific basis grounded in controlled trials, and this lack of evidence has put tremendous pressure on clinicians to justify their practices. In this article, we review the recent literature on effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions in rheumatic disorders.