News from the Eular Committee on Epidemiology and Health Services Research (May 13th, 2015)

By Deborah Symmons.

I hope that you are all well and looking forward to the EULAR Annual Congress in Rome in June. This newsletter includes some updates from the EULAR Executive, will flag up some important sessions at the EULAR Congress and seeks your input to the SCEHSR annual meeting.


The website ( has been updated and is much improved. If you have not visited, already I encourage you to do so. You will find details about SCEHSR and its study groups under ‘How we work’. On the website you will notice that there are currently two joint EULAR-ACR calls. One is for the development of classification criteria or revising existing criteria sets; the other is for the development of response criteria for use in clinical trials and possibly clinical practice (Deadline 31st May 2015).
The new EULAR on-line journal: RMD Open ( has now been launched and the first articles published. The editor is Bernard Combe.
Iain McInnes is leading EULAR work on developing a ‘Roadmap for research’ to be adopted transnationally. This will identify areas of priority to patients, likely to be solvable within a 5-10 year time span, and which have relevance across diseases.

Details of the SCEHSR annual business meeting in Rome

Axel Finkch will take over as the Chair of our committee during the EULAR Congress. He will chair the annual business meeting which will take place on Thursday June 11th in Room Quirinale. It will start at 8.30 am but the room is booked from 8.15 am. The meeting will end by 10.15 am. Light refreshments should be available. If you are a national representative please make every effort to attend. If you will not be at the Rome meeting, you are welcome to appoint a deputy. Please let us know in advance of any substitutes. If you are not a national representative but would still like to attend please also let us know. It will probably be possible but we were only allowed to book a modest sized room!
We will be circulating the agenda nearer the date. Please let me or Axel (axel.finckh at know, by 22nd May, if there are any items that you would like to be included in the agenda.

SCEHSR activities since September 2014

On 16th October 2014 representatives of the SCEHSR attended a conference organized by the EULAR Public Affairs Office at the EU Parliament in Brussels. It was entitled ‘Analysing how to reduce the access barriers to healthcare for people with chronic disease in Europe – challenges, good practice and policy: options for people with RMDs’.

The EULAR executive recently agreed to fund an application put forward via our committee entitled ‘Recommendations for the standardized content and structure of core data to facilitate patient care and research in rheumatoid arthritis’ . The project is being led by Johan Askling and Will Dixon in the EULAR RODS study group on registers and observational drug studies.

The 4th EULAR Course on Epidemiology will be held in Berlin on 3-4th July 2015. Further details are on the EULAR website ( Plans are advancing well for a EULAR Course on Health Economics to be held in Nancy, France in spring 2016. This will be aimed at both rheumatologists and other healthcare professionals.

A second EULAR RODS meeting has been arranged for 7-8th December to be held in Prague. Details are not on the EULAR website yet. More details will be available in Rome.

Highlights to look forward to in Rome

Plans for the Rome Congress (10th-13th June 2015) are now complete ( . Ingemar Petersson is the SCHESR representative on the scientific committee which organizes the Congress. The Chair of SCEHSR also sits on the committee. As in previous years, epidemiology and health services research received a large number of abstracts – the third largest category.
The open meeting of SCEHSR will be on Friday 12th June 15:45-17:15 in Room H. It will feature final reports from the EULAR PRO projects and how these can feed into the EULAR Outcome Measure Toolkit. Sadly this does clash with other sessions – but this was unavoidable.
There will be an epidemiology and HSR abstract session on Thursday 11th June 10:30 (Hall 2) and an epidemiology and HSR poster tour on Friday 12th June. Outcome Science sessions (all in Hall 1) which may be of interest to you include:

  • Optimising the use of electronic information and technology in clinic and research (Wed 10th June 15:00)
  • Searching for the evidence to support clinical practice (Wed 10th June 17:00)
  • Functioning measures of function: PROMs and CROMs (Thurs 11th June 13:45)
  • Work productivity as an outcome measure (Thurs 11th June 15:45)
  • Predicting the development of RA (Friday 12th June 13:45)
  • Cost effectiveness of biologics in RA (Friday 12th June 15:45)
  • New challenges in clinical trials (Sat 13th June 08:30)
  • Quality indicators – a way to measure the quality of care (Sat 13th June 12:00)

Of course there are many other interesting sessions in the other streams of work.
Planning for the 2016 meeting (to be held in London) will begin on the Monday before the Rome meeting. If you have any suggestions for sessions (ideally which fit within the Outcomes Sciences theme) they would be most welcome. Please send them to Ingemar Petersson or Axel Finckh by 5th June 2015. Your suggestions should include a session title and up to three suggested speakers – with titles for their talks.


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