Philip Rask Lage-Hansen

PhD fellow

Philip Rask Lage-Hansen received his medical degree from University of Copenhagen in 2011. Since 2011 he has been employed primarily in internal medicine, rheumatology at Southern West hospital Esbjerg and at the University Hospital Odense. He completed his specialist training in Rheumatology in 2018 and has been working full time at the department of rheumatology at Southern West Hospital Esbjerg ever since and part time research fellow at Research Unit of Rheumatology, University of Southern Denmark since 2021.

As a Ph.D. student, Philip is co-affiliated with Section for Biostatistics and Evidence-Based Research, at the Parker Institute, as a fellow in clinical epidemiology with focus on advanced research in pain mechanisms related to rheumatoid arthritis which has traditionally been considered to be of inflammatory origin. These research efforts is led by pain specialist Dr. Stine Amris, MD, DMSc with the emphasis on establishing a research agenda standardizing pain measurement and understanding in clinical trials in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

The PhD project address the prognostic value of concomitant chronic widespread pain (incl. fibromyalgia) in the daily clinic of the rheumatologist when diagnosing and treating inflammatory conditions including RA. Fibromyalgia is highly prevalent among inflammatory arthritis conditions, yet fibromyalgia is in most cases left undiagnosed. Diagnosis is usually the basis for decision-making in clinical practice. Evidence is often lacking about future benefits and harms of these decisions for patients diagnosed with and without disease.

The overarching aim of the PhD project is to propose a research model of clinical practice focused on patient prognosis and where predicting the likelihood of future outcomes may be more useful than the diagnosis per se. Disease diagnosis can provide crucial information for clinical decisions that influence outcome. However, the central role of diagnosis in clinical practice is challenged by evidence that it does not always benefit patients and that factors other than disease are important in determining patient outcome. Thus, the PhD project questions the concept of disease as a dichotomous ‘yes’ or ‘no’ since it is challenged by the frequent use of diagnostic indicators with continuous distributions, such as C-reactive protein and tender point counts, which are better understood as contributing information about the probability of a patient’s future outcome. In these cases, a prognostic model provides an alternative framework for clinical practice that extends beyond disease and diagnosis and incorporates a wide range of information to predict future patient outcomes and to guide decisions to improve them.