To identify differences between baseline Canadian JIA practices and the 2019 ACR guidelines for JIA.
Canadian paediatric rheumatologists were surveyed for their opinions on reasonable a priori target adherence rates for JIA guideline recommendations. Prospectively collected data for 266 newly diagnosed children from 2017 to 2019 were analysed to calculate observed adherence rates. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were used to estimate the cumulative incidence of starting synthetic or biologic DMARDs (sDMARD or bDMARD, respectively) for different patient groups.
A total of 25/61 (41%) eligible physicians answered the survey. Most survey respondents (64%) felt that adherence targets should vary depending on the strength of the recommendation and quality of evidence, from a mean of 84% for strong recommendations with high-quality evidence to 29% for conditional recommendations with very low-quality evidence. Data showed 13/19 (68%) recommendations would have met proposed targets and 10/19 (53%) had ≥80% observed adherence. Exceptions were the use of subcutaneous vs oral MTX (53%) and infrequent treatment escalation from NSAIDs to bDMARDs in patients with sacroiliitis (31%) or enthesitis (0%). By 12 weeks, 95% of patients with polyarthritis received sDMARDs, 38% of patients with systemic JIA received bDMARDs and 22% of patients with sacroiliitis received bDMARDs.
Canadian paediatric rheumatology practices were in line with many 2019 JIA guideline recommendations before their publication, except for frequent use of oral MTX and infrequent direct escalation from NSAIDs to bDMARDs in sacroiliitis and enthesitis.