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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

Reliability and validity of CDAI and SDAI indices in comparison to DAS-28 index in Moroccan patients with rheumatoid arthritis

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Imane Ben Slama, Fadoua Allali, Touria Lakhdar, Sarra El kabbaj, Lamyae Medrare, Ange Ngeuleu, Hanan Rkain, Najia Hajjaj - Hassouni
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Authors’ contributions

NH-H, FA and HR helped to correction of the article. LL, SEk, LM and AN participated in collection of patients and fill the questionnaire. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.



Clinical disease activity index (CDAI) and simplified disease activity index (SDAI) are useful tools for the evaluation of disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but have not been comparatively validated in Moroccan population. Therefore, this study was designed to assess validity and reliability of CDAI and SDAI in comparison to disease activity score-28 joints (DAS-28) in Moroccan patients with RA.


Patients with RA were included in a cross-sectional study. Patient characteristics and RA were collected. The disease activity was assessed by DAS-28, CDAI and SDAI. Patients were splitted into groups of remission, low, moderate and high activity on the basis of predefined cut-offs for DAS-28, CDAI, and SDAI. A Spearman correlation between composite indexes and inter-group comparison of the indexes were performed. Using DAS-28 as a gold standard, the Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve was used to assess the performance of a screening test at different levels.


The study was conducted with 103 patients of female predominance (87.4 %). Mean age was 49.7 ± 11.4 years. Median disease duration was in the order of 8 years [3-14]. There was an excellent correlation between DAS-28 and CDAI (r = 0.95, p <0.001), CDAI and SDAI (r = 0.90, p <0.001), and DAS-28 and SDAI (r = 0.92, p <0.001). There was a good inter-rater alignment between the DAS-28 and CDAI (Weighted kappa =0.743) and there was a moderate inter-rater alignment between the DAS-28 and SDAI (Weighted kappa =0.60), and also between the SDAI and CDAI (Weighted kappa = 0.589). There was no statistically significant difference between AUROC of CDAI and SDAI as both were performed equally well.


This study is the first Moroccan case study to compare the performance of both CDAI and SDAI in evaluation of disease activity in patients with RA. Our study showed that there was a direct and excellent correlation between DAS-28 and CDAI, and SDAI and DAS-28.


Our study shows a strong positive correlation between DAS-28, CDAI and SDAI. The cut-off values for CDAI and SDAI used in western literature can be used with minor modifications in Moroccan scenario.
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