Open Access Study protocol

Prospective observational cohort study of Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL), chronic foot problems and their determinants in gout: a research protocol

Priyanka Chandratre1*, Christian Mallen1, Jane Richardson1, Keith Rome2, Joanne Bailey1, Rajvinder Gill1, Samantha Hider1, Jane Mason1, Zoe Mayson1, Sara Muller1, Charlotte Purcell1, Jennifer Titley1, Simon Wathall1, Irena Zwierska1 and Edward Roddy1

Author Affiliations

1 Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK

2 Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute and School of Podiatry, AUT University, Auckland, 0627, New Zealand

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:219  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-219

Published: 13 November 2012



Gout is the commonest inflammatory arthritis affecting around 1.4% of adults in Europe. It is predominantly managed in primary care and classically affects the joints of the foot, particularly the first metatarsophalangeal joint. Gout related factors (including disease characteristics and treatment) as well as comorbid chronic disease are associated with poor Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) yet to date there is limited evidence concerning gout in a community setting. Existing epidemiological studies are limited by their cross-sectional design, selection of secondary care patients with atypical disease and the use of generic tools to measure HRQOL. This 3 year primary care-based prospective observational cohort study will describe the spectrum of HRQOL in community dwelling patients with gout, associated factors, predictors of poor outcome, and prevalence and incidence of foot problems in gout patients.


Adults aged ≥ 18 years diagnosed with gout or prescribed colchicine or allopurinol in the preceding 2 years will be identified through Read codes and mailed a series of self-completion postal questionnaires over a 3-year period. Consenting participants will have their general practice medical records reviewed.


This is the first prospective cohort study of HRQOL in patients with gout in primary care in the UK. The combination of survey data and medical record review will allow an in-depth understanding of factors that are associated with and lead to poor HRQOL and foot problems in gout. Identification of these factors will improve the management of this prevalent, yet under-treated, condition in primary care.

Gout; HRQOL; Foot; Patient experience; Prospective cohort; Primary care