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Observational Study
, 54 (5), 792-7

Quality of Life and Unmet Needs in Patients With Inflammatory Arthropathies: Results From the Multicentre, Observational RAPSODIA Study

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Observational Study

Quality of Life and Unmet Needs in Patients With Inflammatory Arthropathies: Results From the Multicentre, Observational RAPSODIA Study

Roberto Giacomelli et al. Rheumatology (Oxford).

Abstract

Objective: The observational RAPSODIA (RA, PsA and spondylitis including AS) study was planned to assess, in patients with RA, AS and PsA, their involvement in medical decisions, quality of life and unmet needs 15 years after the introduction of biologic therapies in Italy.

Methods: Patients completed a questionnaire during their scheduled rheumatology consultation. They rated their satisfaction with disease knowledge on a 5-point scale (1 = not at all satisfied, 5 = totally satisfied). Self-efficacy, defined as judgement of one's own ability to achieve given levels of performance and exercise control over events, was measured using the pain subscale of the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale. Patients' global assessments of pain, fatigue and disease activity were recorded on 100 mm visual analogue scales (0 = best status, 100 = worse status). Disease activity status was assessed using standard tools. Health status was measured using the 36-item Short Form Health Survey and the Italian version of the HAQ.

Results: Ninety-eight per cent of patients reported that their health care practitioner used understandable terms to explain their condition. Joint issues and general symptoms (e.g. fatigue and malaise) were common. All measures of disease activity and self-efficacy scores were markedly better in patients receiving biologic vs conventional therapy. Biologic therapy recipients were more productive at work.

Conclusion: These results confirm that some patients with rheumatic diseases are not satisfied with the level of information they receive about their treatments. Biologic therapy appears to be an important advance, with patients receiving this form of treatment having improved symptoms and productivity. However, patients still report unmet needs. Thus further research, and perhaps new and more effective therapies, along with better education and multidisciplinary collaboration, are required to improve outcomes.

Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis; biologic therapy; patient education; productivity; psoriatic arthritis; quality of life; rheumatoid arthritis; unmet needs.

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