In rheumatoid arthritis, even with good inflammatory control, there are often episodes of increased inflammation (flare), which may prompt change in medication. However, there is no international definition of flare from either clinician or patient perspective. Whilst little is known about how professionals judge flare, even less is known about the patient experience, yet it may be an important indicator of increasing inflammation, may prompt a request for help, and may be an important way of exploring efficacy of new medications.
This lecture will present the findings of an international study to explore the patient perspective of flare. The qualitative study was conducted across 5 countries, seeking to understand the patient perspective of flare, how and at what point they make a decision to seek help, whether there is an early warning that predicts flare, and how they manage flare. We also sought to examine the terminology used and how they might prefer a patient measure to be designed to capture flare.
The patient perspective on flare, which will be presented, demonstrated much wider concepts than the traditional variables of painful, swollen joints (for example “I feel like a tractor has run over me”). Capturing this perspective has informed our thinking around the measurement of flare,enabling a merger of patient expertise with professional expertise.
Disclosure of Interest None declared