Background The “EULAR recommendations for the role of the nurse in the management of chronic inflammatory arthritis ” (hereinafter referred to as recommendations) were announced in 2012 and have become the guideline for rheumatology nurses. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) also announced the role of nurses in 2013 . Although the recommendations are adequately understood by nurses, they have not been fully practiced. It was suggested that doctors and patients expect that nurses will practice nursing care of rheumatism. On the other hand, such reports and surveys have not been conducted in Japan.
Objectives To understand the current situation of nursing care of rheumatism and make clear future issues by conducting a survey on the level of consent and level of practice for the recommendations in Japan.
Methods The survey was conducted using a questionnaire by mail or to be filled out at a lecture venue for rheumatology nurses. The questionnaires were made up of 10 items described in the recommendations and nurses were asked to fill out the level of consent and level of practice on a 5-point scale.
Results The number of nurses who cooperated with the survey was 202. Of those, the results of questionnaires filled by 186 nurses without any inappropriate description were analyzed. The background of nurses in the analyzed questionnaires was as follows: (1) the history of rheumatology nursing care was <3 years for 44.3%, ≥3 years and <5 years for 23.3% and ≥5 years for 32.4%; and (2) the working form was 70.9% for working at hospital and 29.1% for working at clinic with no bed. The awareness level for recommendations was low at 16.6%. While the level of consent was very high at 90% or more to recommendations 2, 6, 8 and 9, it was low to recommendation 3. While the level of practice was highest at 50.5% for recommendation 8, it was low in the range of ≥10 to <20% for recommendations 3, 7, 9 and 10.
Conclusions The results of this survey demonstrated that the awareness level for recommendations was low in Japan, the level of consent was high and the level of practice was low, which indicated a gap between the ideal and the reality in rheumatology care as was the case with the results announced during the ACR2013. In order to make every rheumatology nurse aware of the recommendations in the future, it is considered necessary to clearly state and spread them at seminars, etc. for nurses with the cooperation of doctors. In order to improve the level of practice, the rheumatology nurses themselves need to be the source of information to educate nurses and practice the recommendations by creating a network of nurses.
Yvonne van Eijk-Hustings, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2012;71:13–19.
Brown, et al. Arthritis Rheum 2013;65 Suppl 10:2908
Disclosure of Interest None declared