The importance of assessment and management of morning stiffness in Asian patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Recommendations from an expert panel

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases


© 2016 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. Objective: In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), morning stiffness is linked more to functional disability and pain than disease activity, as assessed by joint counts and markers of inflammation. As part of the Asia Pacific Morning Stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis Expert Panel, a group of eight rheumatologists met to formulate consensus points and develop recommendations for the assessment and management of morning stiffness in RA. Methods: On the basis of a systematic literature review and expert opinion, a panel of Asian rheumatologists formulated recommendations for the assessment and medical treatment of RA. Results: The panel agreed upon 10 consensus statements on morning stiffness, its assessment and treatment. Specifically, the panel recommended that morning stiffness, pain and impaired morning function should be routinely assessed in clinical practice. Although there are currently no validated tools for these parameters, they should be assessed as part of the patients' reported outcomes in RA. The panel also agreed on the benefits of low-dose glucocorticoids in RA, particularly for the improvement of morning stiffness. Conclusions: These recommendations serve to guide rheumatologists and other stakeholders on the assessment and management of morning stiffness, and help implement the treat-to-target principle in the management of RA.

First Page


Last Page


To view the document, please click the DOI link after the APA Citation.