Identification of the pharmaceutical care issues of rheumatoid arthritis patients in secondary care
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Objective: To explore the perceptions of multidisciplinary health care professionals (HCPs) and patients of the pharmaceutical care issues (PCIs) relating to rheumatoid arthritis (RA.).
Design: Qualitative study using semi‐structured one to one interviews and focus groups to explore patient perceptions. Interviews and focus groups were taped and transcribed verbatim, then described and coded for meaning to produce 'in‐vivo' codes, which were then grouped to form themes. Nominal group methodology was used to generate and rank a list of HCP perceptions of the key PCIs of RA patients. The PCIs were ranked according to clinical importance and order of occurrence from admission as perceived by the HCP group.
Setting: Rheumatology ward and outpatient clinic in a teaching hospital.
Main Outcome Measures: Generation and ranking of PCIs, generation of themes from patient interviews.
Results: Optimisation of pain control was identified by the nominal group as being the primary aim for patients on admission and was also the most commonly described symptom by patients. Two PCIs not predicted by the HCPs' nominal group was the frequency of infections and the associated discharge and patients described experiencing 'over‐education' by HCPs, which could lead to anxiety. Complementary medicine in conjunction with traditional therapy was raised as a significant health benefit by patients.
Conclusion: Many patients' views mirrored the PCIs identified by HCPs, but some were not anticipated; the value of patient interviews to ensure appropriate service development was demonstrated. Several PCIs emerged for future incorporation by the multi‐disciplinary team into standardised models of pharmaceutical care for use in secondary care and at the secondary/primary care interface for improvement of seamless care. There is a need to target educational interventions and to identify those who will benefit from advice on complementary medicine. Further work is required to develop a tool to identify the educational needs of RA patients and targeting of the information provided. This will help ensure the delivery of pharmaceutical care is designed to match the needs of individual patients.
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