Aim: The purpose of the present study was to identify the educational needs of rheumatology nurses and allied healthcare professionals (AHPs) working with people with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: A cross-sectional national online survey was carried out.
Results: The survey was completed by 162 health care practitioners. Seventy-one per cent of respondents had the knowledge and skills to manage the care of a person with RA. The elements of care for which the respondents were either unsure or did not have the necessary knowledge and skills related to providing advice on exercise (37%) and pain medication (30%) to people with RA. There was a consistent tendency for respondents to be less confident in their knowledge and skills when caring for people with OA, with respondents reporting that they were either unsure or did not have the necessary knowledge and skills to advise on appropriate exercise (61%), or medication for the management of pain (45%) or the management of ongoing care (51%).
Conclusions: Current and future educational programmes on RA and OA management should provide nurses and AHPs with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in providing advice on exercise and pain medication.
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.