The Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation has released the first clinical practice guidelines for the disease, which includes recommendations on the management of fatigue, inflammatory musculoskeletal pain, and use of biologic agents.
Steven E. Carsons, MD, from the Division of Rheumatology and Allergy and Immunology at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, and colleagues said they developed the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation clinical practice guidelines after "patient requests for improved care and physician requests for guidance."
The Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation clinical expert panel consisted of clinicians, nurses, and patients who, using a modified Delphi process (75% agreement level), achieved consensus on 19 different recommendations. Three topic review groups were created on the issues of musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and biologic use, in which panelists performed systematic reviews of the MEDLINE/PubMed and Cochrane databases and compiled data on the topics published between January 1988 and April 2015. A summary of the recommendations was recently published in Arthritis Care & Research.
"Among all chronic autoimmune rheumatic disorders, Sjögren's syndrome remains one of the most difficult to manage," Dr Carsons and colleagues wrote in their recommendations. "Development of [clinical practice guidelines] for the ocular, oral, and systemic/rheumatologic manifestations should substantially improve the quality and consistency of care, guide reimbursement policies, and decrease the overall burden of illness."