Background We have previously demonstrated that the improvements of disease activity and patients' satisfaction did not show significant relationship in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here we hypothesized that the understanding of disease activity score 28 (DAS28) by patients may lead to better patients' satisfaction.
Objectives To assess the relationship between patient's DAS28 understanding and treatment satisfaction in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
Methods The study was conducted in cross-sectional method. The questionnaire was collected between June 17, 2013 and July 26, 2013 from 1004 RA patients in our hospital. Newly visited patients were excluded from this study. Questionnaires included treatment satisfaction, experience of receiving DAS28 explanation, and understanding of DAS28.
Results Patients were 203 male and 801 female, mean age of 61.5 years, mean disease duration of 10.9 years, and mean DAS28 (ESR) of 2.82. Administrations were 763 patients with conventional DMARDs and 241 patients with biological DMARDs. The overall satisfaction to the treatment was satisfied (23%), somewhat satisfied (54%), neutral (16%), somewhat unsatisfied (5%), and unsatisfied (2%). Patients experienced receiving the explanation of DAS28 (28%), unexplained (32%), and did not recall or unknown (45%). To compare the patients who did understood DAS28 (n=191) with the patients who did not and does not understand DAS28 (n=745), patients were stratified into two groups. The satisfaction from the patients who understood DAS28 was 89%, while the patients who did not and does not understand DAS28 was 76%. Patients who understood DAS28 showed significantly higher rate of satisfaction compared to the patients who did not and does not understood DAS28 (p=0.0013, Kruskal-Wallis test).
Conclusions The treatment satisfaction of RA patients with the understanding of DAS28 was higher than that of the patients who does not know or did not understand DAS28. The portion of the patients who received DAS28 explanation was 28%, leaving most of the patients unexplained and not knowing of DAS28. These facts suggest that the educational approach including explanation of DAS28 to RA patients may lead to improve overall treatment satisfaction level in our hospital.
Disclosure of Interest None declared