Background In person-centred care (PCC) a holistic approach, individualized care, empowerment and self-management are cornerstones. Patients are seen as persons with resources and are encouraged to take an active role in their own health care to become skilled or effective consumers of health care. Little is known of the impact of PCC vs. regular care on patients' skills as health care consumers.
Objectives To study the impact on effective consumers' skills over 12 months in patients undergoing biological therapy and randomly assigned to either a nurse-led rheumatology clinic (NLC) based on PCC or to a rheumatologist-led clinic (RLC) as measured by the Effective Consumer Scale (EC17).
Methods A 12 month RCT in 107 patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis.1 Inclusion criteria were ongoing biological therapy and a DAS28 ≤3.2. All patients met a rheumatologist at inclusion and after 12 months, while the 6 month follow-up was performed in the assigned group, either at a NLC (PCC) or at an RLC (regular care). Outcome measure was the EC17, developed and endorsed by the OMERACT to measure skills in decision-making, navigation and negotiation with health care professionals (0-100, worse to best). Minimally Important Difference (MID) of EC17 was calculated (≥0.5 SD of the mean baseline score)2 and patients categorized in three EC17 groups: improvement, no change or deterioration of consumer skills. Differences between intervention groups and EC17 groups were calculated with Chi2. Global health, pain and HAQ were measured for descriptive purposes.
Results A total of 101 patients completed the EC17 at baseline (mean 84 SD 10) and after 12 months. Twelve patients had baseline scores higher than 95 and a MID in improvement could not be measured why they were excluded, leaving 89 patients in the trial (mean age 53 SD 12 years, mean disease duration 16 SD 11 years, 54% women, RLC n=44, NLC n=45). At baseline mean (SD) DAS28 was 2.05 (0.68), global health 22 (17), pain 23 (18) and HAQ 0.55 (0.51). A larger proportion of patients improved according to EC17 in the NLC compared with the RLC (42% vs. 23%), and a smaller proportion deteriorated (16% vs. 23%; table). The differences were not statistically significant (p=0.14), probably due to a small sample size.
Conclusions A nurse-led rheumatology clinic based on person-centred care resulted in a greater proportion of patients who reported a long term improvement in skills as consumers of health services compared with patients monitored by a rheumatologist-led clinic. Larger studies are needed to confirm the result.
Larsson I, et al. Randomized controlled trial of a nurse-led rheumatology clinic for monitoring biological therapy. J Adv Nurs 2014;70(1):164-75.
Strand V, et al. It's good to feel better but it's better to feel good and even better to feel good as soon as possible for as long as possible. Response criteria and the importance of change at OMERACT 10. J Rheumatol 2011;38(8):1720-7.
Disclosure of Interest None declared