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Survey Finds Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Their Doctors Not Always on the Same Page

Most doctors believe more patient involvement in decision-making would improve RA management

New York, NY—November 14, 2016

A large global survey finds gaps in communication between doctors who treat rheumatoid arthritis and their patients, even though most physicians believe good communication and patient engagement are important to achieve the best outcomes.

The research, "Understanding the Importance of a Patient’s Role in the Management of RA: Physician- and Patient-Based Survey" was presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals annual meeting on November 13 in Washington, DC.

"Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting 1.5 million people in the United States," said Allan Gibofsky, MD, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and senior study author. "The survey was launched to gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences in physician and patient perspectives, with the goal of improving patient care."

The RA NarRAtive Global Advisory Panel, a group of 39 rheumatology experts from around the world including Dr. Gibofsky, developed the surveys regarding RA treatment and management for both patients and health care providers. They were distributed in 15 countries between September  2014 and January 2016. More than 3900 patients and more than 1600 physicians completed the questionnaires.  

Some of the survey findings:

  • Among the doctors, 90% of respondents were satisfied with their communications with patients, however, 68% acknowledged, ‘I wish my patients and I talked more about goals and treatment.’
  • The majority of physicians believed that setting treatment goals and developing a disease management plan with their patients are essential for the successful management of RA. Yet, results from the patient survey revealed that few patients had shared their treatment goals with their doctor or realized they had a disease management plan in place.
  • Only 53% of patients acknowledged that dialogue with their health care provider would optimize the management of their RA.
  • 61% of patients felt uncomfortable voicing their concerns or fears to their doctor.
  • RA remission was ranked higher in the physician survey than in the patient survey as a treatment goal. Patients were more likely to cite symptom reduction as a treatment goal.
  • Overall, 88% of doctors agreed that patients who are involved in making treatment decisions tend to be more satisfied with their treatment experience; 74% felt that patients who are not involved are less likely to adhere to treatment.
  • Doctors and patients had similar views on what they would most like to change about currently available RA medications, including the severity of side effects, cost and efficacy.

"Studies show that good communication and the involvement of the patient in decision-making are critical to achieve optimal care," said Dr. Gibofsky. "The hope is that this survey represents the beginning of a road map to address deficiencies so we can ultimately improve patient care."

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Study Title: "Understanding the Importance of a Patient’s Role in the Management of RA: Physician- and Patient-Based Survey"

Authors: Ara Dikranian1, James Galloway2, Joern Kekow3, Cristiano A.F Zerbini4, Maria de la Vega5, Gavin Lee6, Anna Maniccia7, Eustratios Bananis8, Dario Ponce de Leon9 and Allan Gibofsky10, 1San Diego Arthritis Medical Clinic, San Diego, CA, 2King's College, and King´s College Hospital, London, United Kingdom, 3University of Magdeburg, Clinic of Rheumatology, Magdeburg, Germany, 4Centro Paulista de Investigação Clinica, São Paulo, Brazil, 5CEIM Investigaciones Médicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 6Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China, 7Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, 8Pfizer Inc, Collegeville, PA, 9Pfizer Inc, Lima, Peru, 10Rheumatology, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY

Disclosures: A. Dikranian, Pfizer Inc, AbbVie, 5,Pfizer Inc, AbbVie, 8; J. Galloway, Pfizer Inc, 2,Pfizer Inc, MSD, AbbVie, Jannsen, 5; J. Kekow, None; C. A. F. Zerbini, Pfizer Inc, Merck, Sanofi, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Celltrion, Novartis, 2,Pfizer Inc, Eli Lilly, 8; M. de la Vega, Pfizer Inc, AbbVie, BMS, 5,Pfizer Inc, Amgen, Roche, 2; G. Lee, Eli Lilly, Pfizer Inc, 5; A. Maniccia, Pfizer Inc, 1,Pfizer Inc, 3; E. Bananis, Pfizer Inc, 3,Pfizer Inc, 1; D. Ponce de Leon, Pfizer Inc, 1,Pfizer Inc, 3; A. Gibofsky, Consultant-AbbVie, Amgen, Celgene, Medec, Pfizer, Antares, Iroko, Lilly, Novartis, Sandoz, UCB, Relburn, Samumed; Speaker-AbbVie, Celgene, Pfizer,  UCB. Shareholder-AbbVie, Amgen, BMS,  J&J, Pfizer, Regeneron.

The study was funded by Pfizer Inc.

 

About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.

 

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