Use of Physician Global Assessment in systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review of its psychometric properties.

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The Physician Global Assessment (PGA) is a visual analogue score that reflects the clinician's judgement of overall SLE disease activity. The aim of this systematic literature review is to describe and analyse the psychometric properties of the PGA.This systematic literature review was conducted by two independent reviewers in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. All articles published through 1 July 2019 in PubMed were screened, with no limitation on year of publication, language or patients' age. Psychometric properties data were analysed according to the OMERACT Filter methodology version 2.1.The literature search identified 91 studies. Face validity was reported in all the articles retrieved in which the PGA was used alone or as part of composite indices (Systemic Responder Index, Safety of Estrogen in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment Flare Index, Lupus Low Disease Activity State, Definitions of Remission in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus criteria). Content validity was reported in 89 studies. Construct validity was demonstrated by a good correlation (r ≥ 0.50) between the PGA with the SLEDAI (12 studies), SLAM (4 studies), LAI, BILAG and ECLAM (2 studies each). Criterion validity was assessed exploring the PGA correlation with quality of life measurements, biomarker levels and treatment changes in 28 studies, while no study has evaluated correlation with damage. A good responsiveness for PGA was shown in eight studies. A high variability in scales was found, causing a wide range of reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.67-0.98).PGA is a valid, responsive and feasible instrument, though its reliability was impacted by the scale adopted, suggesting the major need for standardization of its scoring.


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