Objectives: We sought to examine patients' and providers' views on the treatment of gout to better understand why management is suboptimal.
Methods: In-depth telephone interviews were conducted with gout patients (n = 26) who initiated treatment with a urate-lowering drug (ULD) in the previous 6 months and with providers who care for gout patients (n = 15). The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Using qualitative methods, results were analysed and themes were identified. Interviews focused on the acute management, chronic management and prevention and improvement strategies.
Results: Providers viewed the majority of patients as having excellent relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, colchicine and glucocorticoids, while some patients felt these medications were ineffective. Providers felt that most patients had a good understanding of the rationale for ULD therapy and that patients responded well. Some patients felt ULDs triggered, worsened or had no impact on their disease. Most providers thought medication adherence was relatively good. Some patients reported discontinuing medications. Discontinuations were largely purposeful and due to clinical or financial concerns. Most providers thought they had adequate skills to teach disease self-management behaviours. Patients requested more information and longer visit times.
Conclusions: Providers view gout as easily managed, while patients report challenges and purposeful non-adherence.