The Haywood hospital research department has been a recognised centre for high quality clinical research for over 20 years. Our clinicians were among the first to demonstrate the relationship between chronic inflammation and disease outcome. Studies carried out in the early 1980’s paved the way for long-term monitoring of disease activity which is now carried out routinely in many major rheumatology units. The unit has made important contributions in the development of methods of assessing inflammatory joint disease, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and has developed a number of radiological and clinical outcome measures. This has led to a major change in our understanding of the natural history of arthritis as well as to new treatments. The Haywood hospital research department was among the first to pioneer the use of combination therapy in RA, and this has now become part of mainstream treatment in RA. We are involved in some of the major national and international clinical studies currently being carried out in rheumatology.
Long term co-morbidity and mortality studies in RA and AS. Long term studies on co-morbidity and mortality in RA and AS have been initiated here. A core data set of demographic, clinical and laboratory measurements is being collected in order to determine the prevalence of co-morbid disease and to validate a score describing severity of co-morbidity in RA. Long term follow-up will determine the main causes of death in RA and will be linked to studies investigating predictive genetic and biochemical factors in co-morbidity and mortality.
Computer-based drug monitoring has been carried out at the Haywood Hospital for over 15 years. An extensive database has been developed which provides unique opportunities to investigate clinical and genetic aspects of adverse drug reactions, multidrug resistance etc.