Aim The primary objective of this study was to audit the centre’s and its satellite clinics’ compliance with the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) and the Royal College of Ophthalmology (RCO) uveitis screening guidelines. The secondary objective of the study was to compare the centre’s compliance with the treatment guidelines of JIA and uveitis, as recommended by NHS England and following results from the SYCAMORE trial.
Method The clinical records of 54 patients recruited from the Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study (CAPS) were analysed over a six-week period. The data collected included patient demographics, JIA sub-type, date of referral and uveitis screening, presence of uveitis and treatment (if applicable), and details of medication prescribed for JIA. Information was gathered from the centre’s EPMA system and paper records, and was requested from the satellite centres if needed. The raw data was inputted into the statistical software SPSS v23 to evaluate the categorical data. Chi-squared tests were performed on the data to detect any potential correlation between various demographic variables and primary and secondary outcomes.
Results 92.6% (50/54) of patients were referred for uveitis screening after being diagnosed with JIA. For 3 (5.6%) patients there was no evidence of referral and for 1 (1.9%) patient the documentation was not clear. 90% (45/50) of the referred patients were screened for uveitis. For the remaining 5 (10%) patients, there was no documentation of whether screening had taken place. The compliance of ophthalmology departments with the BSPAR/RCO guidelines was poor with only 17.8% (8/45) of patients being screened within six weeks of the ophthalmology referral. 8.9% of patients (4/45) were diagnosed with uveitis and 2 of these patients received adalimumab as part of the treatment regime. The treatment for JIA was documented for 75.9% (41/54) of patients and all treatments (100%) were in line with the current recommendations from NHS England. Statistical correlations could not be identified due to the low numbers of patients.
Conclusion The BSPAR/RCO guidelines suggest that all new patients are to be screened as soon as possible, no longer than 6 weeks after referral.1 As uveitis is commonly an asymptomatic condition2 with severe complications such as blindness,3 routine screening is imperative. Overall, the compliance of the tertiary care centre and satellite clinics with the BSPAR/RCO guidelines was poor. Immediate changes are required to improve patient care, focusing on facilitating sharing of documentation and communication between the primary centre and its satellite clinics. Raising awareness of targets recommended by BSPAR/RCO to emphasise the importance of timely uveitis screening via regional training days should take place. Ensuring all junior staff that might see JIA patients in clinic are aware of the need of uveitis screening via offering structured training during their rotation is recommended.
BSPAR: Guidelines for Screening for Uveitis in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA ) (1st ed.)6 Oct 2016.
Engelhard SB, Asima B, Ashvini RK. Causes of uveitis in children without juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Clinical Ophthalmology2015;9:1121–1128.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Cincinnatichildrens.org. N.p., 5 Oct 2016.
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