NASS, in collaboration with Crohn’s & Colitis UK, and with support from the British Society for Gastroenterology (BSG), are launching the findings from our landscape review into diagnosing axial SpA in people living with inflammatory bowel disease.
Prevalence of axial SpA ranges from 0.5- 1.5% in UK, but it can be as high as 5% in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Despite advances in technology and changes in classification to include early stages of the disease, there is still significant delay in diagnosis, which in the UK is currently 8.5 years on average from symptom onset to diagnosis. Diagnostic delays lead to significant functional disability, mental health issues, and financial detriment in patients, and cost the UK economy £18.7 billion a year.
As part of the NASS Act on axial SpA campaign, launched in June 2021, we developed a 22-question survey in conjunction with key clinical advisors, Crohn’s & Colitis UK and the BSG. There are two major themes emerging from this analysis to help ensure swift recognition, identification, and referral of suspected axial SpA: education and joint working with rheumatology.
Despite there being positive detection of inflammatory back pain symptoms and high confidence to refer, the survey highlights the need for regular educational sessions and resources on axial SpA that are accessible to all clinicians. Also, within secondary care, standardised screening tools and formal referral pathways could support clinicians.in identification.