The experience of patients with rheumatoid arthritis admitted to hospital

Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Feb;45(1):1-7. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200102)45:1<1::AID-ANR77>3.0.CO;2-Q.


Objective: To describe the experiences of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when admitted to hospital.

Methods: A selected sample of 9 women with RA of at least 3 years duration, who had experienced at least 5 days of inpatient care within the previous 2 years, underwent unstructured interviews in this qualitative, phenomenological study. Information from the interviews was analyzed using Colaizzi's 6 procedural steps.

Results: Five major themes emerged from the study: uncertainty during the first admission to hospital; the process of becoming an experienced patient on subsequent admissions; the evident experience and knowledge of staff; the effect, both positive and negative, of other patients; and the loss of privacy.

Conclusion: These findings throw important new light on the experience of patients with RA receiving inpatient rheumatologic care and have the potential to significantly advance nursing practice within rheumatology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / nursing
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interview, Psychological / methods
  • Interview, Psychological / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission
  • Privacy