Patients' perceptions of drug information given by a rheumatology nurse: a phenomenographic study

Musculoskeletal Care. 2010 Mar;8(1):36-45. doi: 10.1002/msc.164.


Background: Pain, stiffness and functional restriction of the joints are the main problems experienced by patients with inflammatory rheumatic conditions. The majority of patients with rheumatic diseases require several drugs every day. Adherence is highest among patients who have repeatedly been given drug information by a nurse from the start of the treatment. When developing patient information, it is essential to utilize patients' experiences.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe variations in how patients with rheumatic diseases perceive drug information given by a rheumatology nurse.

Methods: The study had a descriptive qualitative design with a phenomenographic approach. Fifteen inpatients with rheumatic diseases who had received a new drug agreed to take part in the study and were interviewed.

Results: Three descriptive categories emerged: autonomy, power and security. Autonomy was based on patients' experiences of taking responsibility and participating. Power meant gaining knowledge and being motivated to take the drug. Security involved trust, experiencing care and access to a rheumatology nurse.

Conclusions: For patients with a rheumatic disease, drug information from a rheumatology nurse gave them autonomy, power and security. These factors could explain why information from a nurse increases adherence to drug treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses
  • Perception
  • Physicians
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Rheumatic Diseases / nursing*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / therapy*
  • Rheumatology
  • Trust