Objectives Biologics are medication widely applied in management of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The drugs were found to be effective but their application is associated with some disadvantages. Medication with biologics is relatively expensive, and in Poland, it is carried out in specialized centers. The study was designed to evaluate various aspects of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the Polish patients treated with biologics.
Methods Anonymous questionnaires were distributed in 23 Polish rheumatological centers involved in the treatment, 1231 questionnaires were used for analysis. Responses were received from 606 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 427 with ankylosing spondylitis (SA), 117 psoriatic arthritis (PS), and 62 adult patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) (in whom administration of the drugs had been introduced before they were 18-year-old), as well as 19 ones receiving the drugs due to other musculoskeletal disorders. The investigated group constituted about one-fifth of all rheumatic patients on biologics in Poland.
Results The main reasons for satisfaction were positive influence of the treatment on family life (41% RA, 41% SA, 41% PS), general physical status (51% RA, 51% SA, very positive 43% PS), mental well-being (46% RA, 47% SA, 48% JIA, very positive 43% PS), sexual life (39% SA, 38% PS, 31% RA), sleep (39% RA, 41% SA, 36% PS, 40% JIA), in smaller part of the patients it had effect on working and financial situation. In general, satisfaction of the treatment was evaluated as positive or very positive in 84% patients with RA, 72% with SA, 87% with PS and 81% with JIA.
In almost half of the patients, transportation to the medical center was a disadvantage of the treatment. 79% did not consider blood sampling as a problem for them. About one-third of the patients considered laboratory and imagine tests to be done before initiation of the medication as a difficulty, and for 27-47% waiting time for qualification for the medication was a significant disadvantage. The route of drug administration was without importance for 4/5 of the patients.
Conclusions Summing up, the results were similar in the patients suffering from various diseases although those with PS felt the highest satisfaction (possible due to positive aesthetic effect), and those with SA had significant improvement in sexual life (probably due to younger age). Relatively low satisfaction was found in patients with JIA. There was low influence of medication on financial status of the patients however some of them returned to work. Application of biologics has low disadvantages and most of them are associated with organization of health services (waiting time for the tests, transportation to the medical centers).
Disclosure of Interest None declared