Table 3

Number and timing of free text string events compared with timing of coded information

CategoryPatients with text entry (N) (%)Patients with equivalent code (N) (%)Patients with text only (N) (%)Median time earliest text entry prior to RA code (days) (IQR)
DMARD114 (39%)131 (45%)27 (9%)38 (0–281)
Rheumatoid arthritis121 (41%)294 (100%)34 (0–168)
Inflammatory arthritis63 (21%)33 (11%)53 (18%)140 (28–256)
Other arthritis124 (42%)41 (14%)109 (37%)148 (37.5–361)
Synovitis54 (18%)11 (4%)48 (16%)82 (16–206)
Referral to rheumatology126 (43%)122 (42%)61 (21%)68.5 (14–181)
Joint pain193 (66%)169 (52–356)
Effusion28 (10%)102 (15.5–278)
Stiffness108 (37%)116.5 (18.5–263)
Swelling137 (47%)148 (35–302)
Any joint symptom221 (75%)133 (45%)106 (36%)
 Rh test, no result94 (32%)47.5 (17–154)
 Positive Rh test62 (21%)66 (8–169)
 Negative Rh test25 (8.5%)178 (11–334)
Any Rh test reference135 (46%)163 (55%)26 (9%)
 Steroids86 (29%)119 (18–372)
 Non-specific inflammatory markers185 (63%)181 (62%)52 (18%)120 (23–298)
  • DMARD, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug; RA, rheumatoid arthritis; Rh, rheumatoid factor.