Perspectives of at-risk individuals on preventive intervention for rheumatoid arthritis: a mini review

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There has been intense research focus on the biological mechanisms underlying the transition from health to disease for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) over recent years, and it is now well established that a state of autoimmunity precedes the development of symptoms for a large proportion of patients. This has led to an increased interest in the identification of at-risk groups and the potential for preventive intervention. The ability of several immunomodulatory agents to delay or prevent RA is under investigation and novel cellular therapies are in development. Preventive approaches are also being assessed in other chronic autoimmune diseases. For example, an anti-CD3 antibody has recently been shown to delay progression to type 1 diabetes in non-diabetic relatives of patients identified as being at high risk.

The identification and treatment of individuals as being at risk of a disease where there is a degree of uncertainty around the potential for benefit is socially and ethically challenging. Recently reported difficulties in recruitment to RA prevention trials have underlined the importance of understanding the perspectives of at-risk individuals to identify barriers and facilitators that need to be addressed in order for preventive strategies to be acceptable. Understanding of their preferences for benefits and risks of preventive interventions can inform efficient intervention prioritization, prevention trial design and the development of informational resources for those at risk. In this review we summarize current knowledge of preferences for RA prevention and make recommendations for further research needed to ensure efficient development of preventive therapies and clinical implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number883287
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Early online date29 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 Falahee and Raza.


  • Immunology
  • at-risk groups
  • choice - behaviour
  • perceptions
  • prediction
  • preferences
  • prevention
  • rheumatoid arthritis


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