Prescribing for Children With Rheumatic Disease: Perceived Treatment Approaches Between Pediatric and Adult Rheumatologists.
OBJECTIVE: To compare practice patterns and prescribing differences for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) between adult rheumatologists (ARs) and pediatric rheumatologists (PRs), the perceived educational needs, and factors that enhance or impede co-management. METHODS: Two parallel, cross-sectional surveys focusing on JIA were administered in 2009 to a random sample of 193 PRs and 500 ARs using the American College of Rheumatology membership file. Bivariate analysis was conducted for common items. RESULTS: The response rate was 62.1% for ARs (n = 306) and 72.3% for PRs (n = 138). Only 23% of responding ARs (n = 69) reported caring for children with JIA. Of these, 94% strongly agreed/agreed feeling comfortable diagnosing JIA; however, only 76% felt comfortable treating JIA. Clinical vignettes highlighted several prescribing differences. Forty-eight percent of ARs and 31% of PRs felt medications to treat JIA did not have clear dosing guidelines. Though PRs initiated disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic agents earlier, treatments were similar after 3 months. To enhance co-management, 74% of pediatric respondents endorsed shared medical records. CONCLUSION: Nearly one-quarter of surveyed ARs care for children with JIA, with most limiting their practice to older children. There was more discomfort in treating JIA than diagnosing it, and there were significant prescribing differences. Both provider types identified the need for better dosing and treatment resources. Updated management guidelines along with exposure to pediatric rheumatology in fellowship could reduce treatment differences and enhance the care of children with JIA. Shared medical records and improvement in reimbursement may optimize co-management.
van Mater, H; Balevic, SJ; Freed, GL; Clark, SJ
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