Understanding the patient voice in gout: a quantitative study conducted in Europe

BJGP Open. 2020 May 1;4(1):bjgpopen20X101003. doi: 10.3399/bjgpopen20X101003. Print 2020.


Background: Although commonly diagnosed, gout often remains a poorly managed disease. This is partially due to a lack of awareness of the long-term effect of gout among patients and healthcare professionals.

Aim: To understand unmet needs for patients and provide insight into achieving better treatment.

Design & setting: A quantitative online questionnaire collected from 1100 people with gout from 14 countries within Europe.

Method: Patients were recruited to complete an online survey via healthcare professional (HCP) referral, patient associations, or market research panels. Patients were included if they had been diagnosed with gout by a physician. Prior to commencement, patients were made aware that this study was sponsored by Grünenthal. The responses collected were collated and analyses were performed.

Results: Patients had an average of 2.9 gout flares within a 12-month period. Although 79% of patients were satisfied with treatment, inadequate gout control was also reported by 71% of patients. Furthermore, 84% experienced moderate-to-severe pain with their most recent flare. Of those who acknowledged treatment dissatisfaction, only 24% discussed other options with their GP. Most patients reported irregular follow-up and serum uric acid (sUA) monitoring. In addition, loss of belief that more can be done was a key barrier for patients.

Conclusion: Patients reported severe pain and social burden, coupled with low treatment expectation and lack of awareness of target sUA. Education around knowing and reaching sUA target is needed so that patients can receive and GPs can deliver higher quality management.

Keywords: general practice; gout; pain; patient care; quality of life; surveys and questionnaires; urate; uric acid.