Patient decision-making related to antirheumatic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis: the importance of patient trust of physician

J Rheumatol. 2008 Apr;35(4):618-24. Epub 2008 Feb 15.


Objective: To explore how rheumatoid arthritis (RA) antirheumatic drug-specific knowledge and numeric literacy, patient trust in physician, and demographic and disease-related factors relate to the confidence of patient decision-making related to disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD).

Methods: Data were analyzed from 628 randomly selected patients with RA receiving care in community rheumatology practices, who responded to a multicenter, cross-sectional mail survey. We used multiple regression models to predict patient confidence in DMARD decision-making related to their most recently initiated DMARD.

Results: Significant positive correlation was found between confidence in DMARD decision and trust in physician, DMARD-specific knowledge, and disease duration, but not risk-related numeric literacy, sex, or education. Negative correlations were found with disease severity and current bother with DMARD side effects. A multiple linear regression model of confidence in DMARD decision had an overall R = 0.788, R2 = 0.620 (p < 0.001). The 4 dependent variables contributing significantly to the model were female sex, Medicaid insurance status, satisfaction with RA disease control, and trust in physician, with standardized beta = 0.077, -0.089, 0.147, and 0.687, respectively.

Conclusion: In this sample of community patients with RA, the patient trust in physician had substantially greater effect on confidence in DMARD decision than DMARD-specific knowledge, disease-related factors, or demographic characteristics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Data Collection
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*


  • Antirheumatic Agents