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Multidisciplinary team care, defined as care provided by a group of health professionals from various disciplines, has been widely used in arthritis management since the 1950s. Its effectiveness in comparison with regular outpatient care has mainly been established in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recent studies have shown that similar outcomes can be achieved in patients with RA at lower costs using care provided by a clinical nurse specialist. These latter findings suggest that the active components of the multidisciplinary team care model may not be related to the number or professional backgrounds of the health professionals involved, nor with their physical proximity, but rather to the provider's skills in rheumatology and the coordination of services. Because many patients with arthritis have healthcare needs that are not met through treatment by the rheumatologist alone and since traditional multidisciplinary team care in many countries is unavailable or may be undesirable in specific situations, the development and evaluation of alternative, comprehensive models of care delivery is recommended.