The Use of patient Reported Outcome Measures for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Japan: A Systematic Literature Review

Ann Chuo Tang1, *, Hyunchung Kim2, Bruce Crawford2, Taeko Ishii1, Tamas Treuer3
1 Akasaka Garden City, 4-15-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052 Japan
2 IMS Japan K.K., Toranomon Tower Office, 4-1-28 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Toyko, 105-0001 Japan
3 Eli Lilly & Company Hungary. Lilly Hungária Kft. 1075 Budapest, Madách u. 13-14. (VII. emelet). Hungary

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© 2017 Tang et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Akasaka Garden City, 4-15-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052 Japan; Tel: +81-3-5574-9275, Fax: +81-3-5574-9979; Emails:;



Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) obtained through routine medical care may identify patients’ day-to-day burden and help tackle the disease from the patients’ perspective. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the availability of PRO data and PRO tools for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Japan.


We reviewed the literature on PRO data availability and to identify PRO measures implemented in Japan for RA patients.


We conducted a systematic literature review using ICHUSHI and the PubMed databases on PRO measures for RA published from January 2011 to August 2015 in Japan.


After removing duplicates, 2423 manuscripts were found. From these, 100 manuscripts were included for review and analysis. We found 29 PRO tools that were used to assess various domains of health such as general well-being, pain, functionality, and fatigue. More than 90% of the studies utilized PRO tools for research purpose. Only one study reported PRO tool implementation in the routine medical care.


The importance of PROs is recognized in Japan. PRO tools varied significantly and were mostly used for research purposes, while reports on the use of PRO measures in routine medical care were limited. Despite the awareness of PROs in the research community, unmet needs remain among RA patients in Japan. Further work is needed to investigate ways in which PROs can better reflect these unmet needs and be utilized in routine medical care.

Keywords: Burden of illness, Japan, Patient-reported outcomes, QOL, Rheumatoid arthritis, Humanistic burden.