Background The French Society of Rheumatology developed recently recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for a target population of health professionals . Points emphasized in the 3 overarching principles and the 15 recommendations include shared decision making, treatment targets, tight control, first and second line disease-modifying drugs, biologics, glucocorticoids and dealing with remission. Patients are naturally very much impacted by management recommendations, in the context of shared decision-making.
Objectives To extend the cooperation between rheumatologists and patients, by translating the recommendations into a language that can be easily understood by patients.
Methods At the instigation of a patient association, 3 French patients with RA, 3 physicians who had initially developed the recommendations and one patient association representative attended a one-day meeting in September 2014. As a starting point the original recommendations were used . A standardised approach to rephrase the recommendations was presented . After intensive discussions the wording of each recommendation was adjusted, while maintaining the meaning. From October to December 2014, further refining of the wording was conducted by email exchange within the working group and each person was asked to indicate their level of agreement with the content of the recommendations (0-10 with 10 indicating full agreement). In January 2015, a survey was sent out to assess agreement and applicability of the recommendations in a wider group of patients and patient associations.
Results The 3 overarching principles and the 15 recommendations were successfully translated into a patient-understandable version. The original text was changed in most cases. Among the patient partners, there was very high agreement with the proposed wordings (mean, 9.8±0.3). Assessment of agreement in a wider group is ongoing; preliminary results indicate high agreement; with the lowest agreement being with the recommendation stating “biologics should be given preferably with methotrexate as comedication”.
Conclusions The French recommendations were successfully converted into a patient-understandable language version by a group of patients in collaboration with rheumatologists. This should improve the shared decision process in the management of RA. This project will also allow further dissemination and evaluation of the recommendations in France.
Gaujoux-Viala C, Gossec L et al. Recommendations of the French Society for Rheumatology for managing rheumatoid arthritis. Joint Bone Spine. 2014;81(4):287-97.
de Wit MP,et al. Treating rheumatoid arthritis to target: the patient version of the international recommendations. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70(6):891-5.
Disclosure of Interest L. Gossec Consultant for: Abbvie, Celgene, Centocor, Chugai, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, UCB, C. Gaujoux-Viala: None declared, R. Guastalli: None declared, K. Ouladchrif: None declared, J. Janicki: None declared, B. Combe Consultant for: Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Chugai, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, UCB, S. Tropé: None declared
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