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03-04-2018 | Quality of life | Article

Quality of Care in Rheumatoid Disease from the Clinician Perspective: A Modified Delphi Panel Approach

Rheumatology and Therapy

Authors: Finbar O’Shea, Peter C. Taylor, Gavin Dickie, Andrew Yaworsky, Benjamin Banderas, Sumesh Kachroo

Publisher: Springer Healthcare



To establish clinical consensus on important and relevant quality-of-care (QoC) attributes in rheumatic disease (RD) treatment that may improve treatment outcomes and guide best practices.


Twenty-three QoC attributes were identified in a literature review. Fifteen European-based clinicians were selected based on their contributions to RD guidelines, publications, and patient care. A three-round (an interview round and two web-based rounds) modified Delphi panel was conducted to reach consensus and finalize a QoC attribute list.


In round 1 (clinician interviews), clinicians reported 52 unique QoC attributes across 14 themes, with the greatest number of attributes reported in the “treatment goals” (n = 7) and “remote monitoring” (n = 7) themes. During rounds 2 and 3, the critically important QoC attributes most frequently reported were access to care/treatment (n = 14, 93.3%), safety of treatment (round 2 n = 14, 93.3%, round 3 n = 13, 86.7%), and access to clinicians and specialists (round 2: n = 13, 86.7%, round 3: n = 14, 93.3%). The final list contained 53 QoC attributes.


The study demonstrates consensus across several themes of QoC. Quality of care is a complex, multidimensional, and fluid concept that can be improved by ensuring patients have access to care, open communication between patients and clinicians, and the use of novel strategies, such as remote monitoring. Utilization of the attribute list can potentially improve the lives of patients, provide clinicians with tools to provide greater QoC, and improve the healthcare system as a whole.


Merck & Co., Inc.

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