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Aalst, Belgium

de Leeuw B.H.C.G.M.,ASZ | Maraha B.,ASZ | Hollemans L.,ASZ | Sprong H.,Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Microbiological Methods | Year: 2014

Borrelia burgdorferi non. -sensu lato (s.l.) strains occurred in the Netherlands. A multiplex OspA, FlaB, IGS real time PCR was compared to 16S rRNA/rDNA RT-qPCR with lower average Cycle threshold (Ct) and LOD on strain dilutions. Multiplexing increased sensitivity on CSF samples (n = 74), distinguishing B. burgdorferi s.l. from non-s.l. strains. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Janssens X.,Ghent University | Decuman S.,Ghent University | De Keyser F.,Ghent University | Ackerman C.,AZ St. Lucas | And 20 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology | Year: 2013

Objectives To describe the construction and psychometric properties of the Belgian Rheumatoid Arthritis Disability Assessment (BRADA) questionnaire, a self-report tool to evaluate chronic activity limitations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The BRADA was developed to assess the eligibility of patients with RA for financial and social support measures. Methods The BRADA questionnaire evaluates functioning in 6 functional domains (mobility, nutrition, self care, household tasks, awareness of danger and communication) over the past week and the past 3 months. To assess the psychometric properties of the BRADA, patients with moderate to severe RA filled out the BRADA, HAQ-DI and SF-36 questionnaires twice, with a four-week interval. At each visit, the total number of swollen and tender joints, and global disease activity were recorded. DAS 28 was measured at the first visit. Internal consistency of items per domain was evaluated with Cronbach's alpha method. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis was used to assess test-retest reliability. BRADA scores were compared to HAQ, SF-36 scores and disease activity parameters with Spearman's Rho correlation coefficients to assess construct validity. Results Experts considered the content and face validity of BRADA to be adequate. Internal consistency was satisfactory for all functional domains (alpha >0.75), as was the test-retest reliability (ICC 0.78). BRADA scores showed excellent correlation with other validated questionnaires in RA (HAQ-DI, SF-36) and with measures of disease activity (VAS, DAS28)(p<0.001). Conclusions Its psychometric properties indicate that the BRADA questionnaire is a suitable instrument to evaluate disease-specific activity limitations in patients with RA. © Copyright Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2013.


Janssens X.,Ghent University | Decuman S.,Ghent University | De Keyser F.,Ghent University | Ackerman C.,AZ St. Lucas | And 16 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Objective: This study investigated whether the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) can be used as an instrument to assess the need for social support measures that address activity limitations and participation issues in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: This multicenter observational study included patients with RA and disease duration of at least one year, consulting their rheumatologist for routine evaluation of disease activity. In the single study visit data on demographics, disease history and current treatment were collected. DAS28 values were collected to evaluate current RA disease activity. Patients were asked to fill out the HAQ and SF-36 questionnaires. Receiver Operator Characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed to evaluate the performance of the HAQ, SF-36 and DAS28 in predicting the need for nine supporting measures available for chronically ill patients in the Belgian social security system. The expert opinion of the treating rheumatologist was used as a reference. Results: The study included 316 patients with a mean age of 59.8±12.6 years, disease duration of 11.4±9.3 years, mean DAS28 values of 2.83±1.17. Mean HAQ score was 0.95±0.73, mean SF-36 score 56.5±21.3. HAQ scores >1 were observed in 39.4% of patients. The area under the HAQ ROC curve was consistently >0.7 and higher for the HAQ than for SF-36 or DAS28 for all support measures. Rheumatologists on average recommended 3.67 support measures. Conclusion: The HAQ score was found to be a good predictor of the need for social support measures in patients with RA. © 2014 Janssens et al.

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