The aims of treatment for RA include:

• relief of symptoms, especially pain, joint stiffness, and general fatigue;

• prevention of or improvement in functional and vocational capabilities;

• prevention of deformity by joint protection and splintage;

• correction of existing deformity using surgery;

• halting the disease process.

Considerable progress has been made in developing validated instruments to assess disease activity and severity, which in turn allow for appropriate provision and monitoring of therapy. Two methods using numeric scoring systems are currently employed and assess a number of parameters including numbers of swollen and tender joints, inflammation markers, and global health and quality of life assessments. The Disease Assessment Score

(DAS28) score and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) scores (20, 50, and 70) have both been validated for defining remission and disease activity.16

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