Disparities in physicians’ and patients’ views of biologic therapy
medwireNews: An interview-based study highlights the need to improve discussions between rheumatologists and patients regarding biologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Nicholas Kottak (Ethnographic Solutions LLC, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) and co-researchers analyzed consultations between 48 RA patients and 16 physicians, finding that biologic therapies were discussed for an average of 5.6 minutes during visits lasting approximately 15 minutes.
In preconsultation interviews, all patients were familiar with subcutaneous administration, but only approximately half (54.2%) were familiar with how intravenous (IV) therapy is given. The meaning of IV treatment was not defined in over three-quarters of discussions about its use.
Furthermore, all rheumatologists, but less than half of the patients, believed that the primary barrier to IV therapy would be inconvenience, indicating “a disparity between patients’ and rheumatologists’ perception of IV therapy,” report the researchers in Arthritis Care & Research.
And they conclude that these findings “uncovered opportunities for rheumatologists and office staff to better educate and involve patients with rheumatoid arthritis as they consider initiating biologic therapy.”
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