Background The prevalence of gout in China has been increasing to as high as 15% in some reports in the past 2 decades. Optimal management including patient education has been emphasized in clinics, but few reports on patient knowledge about gout have been published.
Objectives To investigate the disease-related knowledge level of patients with gout in South China in order to identify important targets for patient education.
Methods A survey of 154 patients with gout was conducted using a questionnaire in Chinese modified from Zhang et al. This had 10-items concerning essential areas of knowledge of gout. Data were analyzed by multiple logistic regressions to identify factors associated with gout awareness.
Results 5 patients could not finish the questionnaire because of communication problems or low education so 149 patients were recruited for statistical analysis. 133 (89.3%) patients were male and 16 (10.7%) female. The mean age was 54.9±15.8 (range 19∼94) years. The mean duration of gout was 3.8±3.2 years, and varied from 3 days to 24 years. Education levels were stratified as a) primary school or lower (20.1%), b) junior high school (2.1%), c) high school (39.6%) and d) college or above (18.1%).
The mean of correct answers was 6.6±2.2, with a median of 7(5-8). The following were numbers of correct answers (%): 133 (89.3%) patients knew that too much uric acid causes gout, with 64 (43%) patients knowing that crystals inside the joint cause attacks of gout. 138 (92.6%) patients recognized acute attacks by painful swollen joints, and 105(70.5%) patients knew NSAIDs or colchicine as effective drugs for acute attacks. 90(60.4%) patients recognized that colchicine can prevent attacks induced by urate -lowering therapy (ULT). 83 (55.7%) patients knew allopurinol as a kind of urate-lowering drug. Only 72(48.3%) patients knew the optimal SUA level is ≤6mg/dl and 44 (29.5%) patients knew that urate-lowering drugs should be taken lifelong. Logistic regression showed that high education significantly predicated the awareness of gout-related knowledge. The other factors including age, sex, disease duration, annual income, the number of affected joints, frequency of acute attacks, tophus formation and frequency of doctor visits were not predicators.
Conclusions Gout patients in South China were familiar with the characteristics and management of acute attacks, but had poor knowledge on ULT. Patient education for our population should be focused on the use of urate-lowering drugs, treatment duration, optimal target SUA level and prevention of attacks, especially for patients with low education.
Zhang LY, et al. Development and evaluation of a survey of gout patients concerning their knowledge about gout.J Clin Rheumatol, 2011;17: 242-248
Disclosure of Interest None Declared