According to a meta-analysis published in BMJ Open, biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) seemed to significantly improve quality of life (QoL) in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) when compared with placebo.

The study authors enrolled 37 randomized controlled trials published by February 2022 that evaluated bDMARDs in PsA and included QoL outcomes. Pooled end points included, among others, Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Dermatology Life Quality Index, and Psoriasis Area Severity Index scores. Mean difference (MD) was determined using random-effects models.

According to the report, bDMARDs were advantaged vs placebo across all end points; however, the authors noted that bDMARDs exhibited no significant advantages or disadvantages when compared with methotrexate and tofacitinib. Likewise, outcomes between bDMARDs plus methotrexate vs methotrexate alone were comparable.

The investigators also reported mean HAQ-DI differences between the following subgroups:

  • bDMARDs vs placebo: -0.21 (MD, 95% CI, -23 to -0.18)
  • bDMARDs plus methotrexate vs methotrexate alone: -0.22 (MD, 95% CI, -0.58 to 0.14)
  • bDMARDs vs tofacitinib: -0.01 (MD, 95% CI, -0.05 to 0.04)
  • bDMARDs vs methotrexate: -0.03 (MD, 95% CI, -0.04 to -0.02)

The authors confirmed bDMARDs were superior to placebo but concluded more studies are needed to examine the efficacy of combined therapies, which include bDMARDs.

Reference: Lu Y, Dai Z, Lu Y, Chang F. Effects of bDMARDs on quality of life in patients with psoriatic arthritis: meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e058497. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-058497