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Choosing wisely: the Canadian Rheumatology Association's list of 5 items physicians and patients should question.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a list of 5 tests or treatments used in rheumatology that have evidence indicating that they may be unnecessary and thus should be reevaluated by rheumatology healthcare providers and patients.

METHODS: Using the Delphi method, a committee of 16 rheumatologists from across Canada and an allied health professional generated a list of tests, procedures, or treatments in rheumatology that may be unnecessary, nonspecific, or insensitive. Items with high content agreement and perceived relevance advanced to a survey of Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) members. CRA members ranked these top items based on content agreement, effect, and item ranking. A methodology subcommittee discussed the items in light of their relevance to rheumatology, potential effect on patients, and the member survey results. Five candidate items selected were then subjected to a literature review. A group of patient collaborators with rheumatic diseases also reviewed these items.

RESULTS: Sixty-four unique items were proposed and after 3 Delphi rounds, this list was narrowed down to 13 items. In the member-wide survey, 172 rheumatologists responded (36% of those contacted). The respondent characteristics were similar to the membership at large in terms of sex and geographical distribution. Five topics (antinuclear antibodies testing, HLA-B27 testing, bone density testing, bone scans, and bisphosphonate use) with high ratings on agreement and effect were chosen for literature review.

CONCLUSION: The list of 5 items has identified starting points to promote discussion about practices that should be questioned to assist rheumatology healthcare providers in delivering high-quality care.

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