Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoporosis (OP) are chronic diseases requiring long term medications. Non-adherence to medication is well recognised as a problem in treating these two conditions1,2. Patients' overall perception of their condition and its management could have an impact on their adherence to medication3.
Objectives To explore patients' perceptions of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and/or Osteoporosis and the overall management of their condition. with a particular focus on medication adherence and factors that may influence this.
Methods A total of 33 patients with RA and/or OP were identified through chart review and were invited to participate in individual interviews or focus groups. 15 individual interviews and 2 focus groups were conducted. Transcripts were analysed and the process of open data coding was used to identify themes emerging from conversations. Prevailing themes were agreed upon by the researchers and statements were selected to illustrate each theme.
Results Patients with RA and patients with RA and OP reported better adherence for medications than patients with OP alone. Reasons identified for this were regular follow up and confidence in healthcare professionals. Patients with RA and OP were confident that any medication concerns would be dealt with. “I'm very pleased that they're trying different things, and they don't make you feel that you're a nuisance when one drug doesn't work.” Patients with OP alone reported less contact with health professionals in relation to their condition and were less concerned about their disease.
Conclusions Regular contact with the healthcare provider may improve patients' satisfaction with their disease management and in turn may have a positive impact on medication adherence. Improved support and education may help to improve adherence in patients with OP.
Silverman S. Adherence to Medications for the Treatment of Osteoporosis. Rheum Dis Clin N Am.2006; 32:721–731.
Van den Bemt BJ, Van den Hoogen FH, Benraad B, Hekster YA, Van Riel PL, Van Lankveld W. Adherence rates and associations with nonadherence in patients with rheumatoid arthritis using disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. J. Rheumatol. 36(10), 2164–2170 (2009).
Disclosure of Interest None declared