Background The recently published EULAR recommendations for patient education (PE) in people with inflammatory Arthritis (IA) encompass two overarching principles and eight recommendations (1). The average overall agreement of PE experts with the recommendations is usually high (at least 8.8 (SD+/-0.5) on a 1–10 Numeric Rating Scale NRS) (1, 2). The recommendations ought to be disseminated and implemented to establish a core standard for delivering PE and training for health professionals (HPs) in delivering PE across Europe.
Objectives The Swiss HPs in rheumatology organisation, hpr Switzerland, aimed to evaluate the current standard of PE as well as the agreement with and application of the EULAR PE recommendations in Switzerland, in order to develop further implementation steps.
Methods An online survey was conducted among HPs and rheumatologists in the major rheumatology clinics (n=28) of the German and French part in Switzerland. The current knowledge and skills in PE and the performance of PE in clinical practice were assessed by multiple choice questions. The agreement with the PE recommendations was assessed on a 1–10 NRS and their application in the rheumatology clinics on a 4-point scale (“applied”/“rather applied”/“rather not applied”/“not applied”).
Results A total of 57 HPs, among them 12 rheumatologists, 21 nurses, 15 physiotherapists, 6 occupational therapists, 2 medical assistants) from 12 rheumatology clinics participated. Of these HPs, 31 (55%) worked for more than 6 years in rheumatology and 15 (27%) indicated to have a formal training in PE. They perceived that PE formed a substantial part of their work (33.5% on average), the most important element being “providing information” (48%), compared to 27% counselling and 25% behavioural interventions.
The average overall agreement with the PE recommendations was 7.0 (SD+/-2.25). Recommendations 3 and 7 were well applied (72%) in the rheumatology clinics. Least applied were the recommendations 4 and 6 with 21% and 24% respectively. Recommendations 1, 2, 5 and 8 reached between 40–50% application rates.
Image/graph shows Agreement with and Application of the PE Recommendations in Switzerland
Conclusions The overall agreement with the recommendations was high, although lower than the overall agreement of PE experts (1,2). The application of most recommendations was found to be moderate to low in Swiss rheumatology institutions; however no comparisons with other countries are available. “Providing information” was reported as the most important PE element. This emphasises the need to implement the PE recommendations as well as to improve HPs' knowledge on delivering and evaluating effective PE, in order to provide beneficial PE interventions for people with IA in Switzerland.
Zangi, HA.; Ndosi, M; Adams, J; Andersen, L; Bode, C; Boström, C; van Eijk-Hustings, Y; Gossec, L; Korandová, J; Mendes, G; Niedermann K; Primdahl, J; Stoffer, M; Voshaar, M; van Tubergen, A, (2015). EULAR recommendations for patient education for people with inflammatory arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis, 6, 74. 954–62.
Patermann J, Ehlebracht-König I, Lind-Albrecht G, Genth E, Reusch A, Küffner R, Müller-Ladner U, Braun J. EULAR recommendations for patient education of people with inflammatory arthritis. Translation and evaluation in Germany. Z Rheumatol. 2016 Mar;75(2):187–99.
Disclosure of Interest None declared