Background Smoking is a big public health problem that represents a risk factor for the onset and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. The physician and the patient are partners in the treatment process in which mutual understanding and cooperation lead to betterment.
Objectives Assessing patient compliance investigating the efficiency of spoken medical advice in quitting smoking in patients smokers with rheumatoid arthritis.
Type of Research Observational, multicenter.
Methods The research included ninety-six patients (82 women, 14 men; average age 60.2 + 11.99) with rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed based on modified criteria of the American College of Rheumatology from 1987. All the patients were from continental Croatia, recruited in cooperation between two rheumatology departments. Out of the total number of patients there were twenty smokers (20.8%) and 76 non-smokers (79.2%). DAS28CRP values of disease activity were analyzed, as well as the patient's assessment of disease activity on a visual analogue scale (on a 10cm visual analogue scale – VAS) in smokers and non-smokers. Smokers were given short, spoken advice about the harms of smoking, and advice to quit smoking. The results of efficiency of spoken advice to quit smoking in smokers with RA were analyzed after 1 month, and descriptively presented.
Results Average duration of rheumatoid arthritis was 11.8 + 9.90 years. DAS28CRP and VAS values were analyzed in smokers and non-smokers, and no statistically significant difference was noticed between study groups (p>0.05), although the medial VAS value of pain in non-smokers was 5, and in smokers 6. In 45% of non-smokers and in 30% of smokers the DAS28CRP value was between 3.2 and 5.1. 20% of non-smokers and 30% of smokers had the DAS28CRP value >5.1. After spoken medical advice to quit smoking, two patients (10%) quit smoking in the period of one month.
Conclusions Spoken medical advice to quit smoking in patients smokers with RA was efficient in a small number of patients, which raises the question about patient compliance in general.
KEY WORDS rheumatoid arthritis, smoking, spoken medical advice, patient compliance
Disclosure of Interest None declared