Evaluating the effect of self-management interventions targeting people with inflammatory arthritis (IA) is a challenge because self-management interventions are complex and consensus on important outcomes is lacking. The aim is to identify, and map applied outcome domains and outcome measurement instruments from previous trials measuring the effect of self-management interventions targeting people with IA.
We performed an informative systematic literature review following guidance from the ‘Outcome Measures in Rheumatology’ (OMERACT) and ‘Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials’ (COMET) initiatives. Trials describing their experimental intervention as “self-management” applied in people diagnosed with any IA were included. Information on outcome domains and the corresponding measurement instruments were extracted, sorted, and categorized in domains and sub-domains.
From a total of 2,502 records, we included 38 trials published between 1988 and 2021. We identified 12 different outcome domains, covering 39 subdomains, collected with 119 different measurement instruments. The most frequently applied outcome domains were self-efficacy, pain, physical functioning/disability, anxiety and depression, quality of life, fatigue, global assessment/disease activity and coping. The applied measurement instruments varied within each outcome domain and were predominantly patient-reported outcomes.
The outcome domains and measurement instruments used in self-management trials were widely diverse and differ from the current general OMERACT Core Outcome Sets (COS) for IA conditions. Further steps towards the establishment of a COS to be reported in all self-management intervention trials will enhance the relevance and the subsequent impact on the body of evidence from these trials.

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