Hay, CA, Packham, J, Ryan, S, Mallen, CD, Chatzixenitidis, A and Prior, JA (2022) Diagnostic delay in axial spondyloarthritis: a systematic review. Clinical Rheumatology. ISSN 1434-9949

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Identification of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) remains challenging, frequently resulting in a diagnostic delay for patients. Current benchmarks of delay are usually reported as mean data, which are typically skewed and therefore may be overestimating delay. Our aim was to determine the extent of median delay patients' experience in receiving a diagnosis of axSpA and examine whether specific factors are associated with the presence of such delay. We conducted a systematic review across five literature databases (from inception to November 2021), with studies reporting the average time period of diagnostic delay in patients with axSpA being included. Any additional information examining associations between specific factors and delay were also extracted. A narrative synthesis was used to report the median range of diagnostic delay experienced by patients with axSpA and summarise which factors have a role in the delay. From an initial 11,995 articles, 69 reported an average time period of diagnostic delay, with 25 of these providing a median delay from symptom onset to diagnosis. Across these studies, delay ranged from 0.67 to 8 years, with over three-quarters reporting a median of between 2 years and 6 years. A third of all studies reported median delay data ranging from just 2 to 2.3 years. Of seven variables reported with sufficient frequency to evaluate, only 'gender' and 'family history of axSpA' had sufficient concordant data to draw any conclusion on their role, neither influenced the extent of the delay. Despite improvements in recent decades, patients with axSpA frequently experience years of diagnostic delay and this remains an extensive worldwide problem. This is further compounded by a mixed picture of the disease, patient and healthcare-related factors influencing delay. Key points • Despite improvements in recent decades, patients with axSpA frequently experience years of diagnostic delay. • Median diagnostic delay typically ranges from 2 to 6 years globally. • Neither 'gender' nor 'family history of axSpA' influenced the extent of diagnostic delay experienced. • Diagnostic delay based on mean, rather than median, data influences the interpretation of the delay time period and consistently reports a longer delay period.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Axial spondyloarthritis; Diagnostic delay
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2022 09:08
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10710

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