Cost-effectiveness of inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, controlled trial
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Women with active rheumatoid arthritis who were judged to be in need of hospitalization were assigned at random to receive inpatient therapy (n = 35) or intensive outpatient therapy (n = 36). All relevant costs of treatment were measured. At 19 weeks, clinical outcomes, as summarized in a pooled index, were significantly better in the inpatient group (pooled index units: inpatient 0.72, outpatient 0.25; F[1,69] = 10.9, P = 0.002). Inpatient therapy produced a sustained three-fold increase in efficacy, at a 2.5-fold increase in cost to society.