Background Effective drug treatment for patients with inflammatory arthritis have brought a major proportion of patients in clinical remission. The need for regular follow-up intervals in specialized care is less; patients take greater responsibility for their own care, and patients request access to more flexible health care services. As a result of this development, the University Hospital, St.Olavs Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, has developed a on-demand pathway (PORS) for patients with inflammatory arthritis (RA, PsA and AS) in clinical remission or low disease-activity aiming for increased patient responsibility and flexibility.
Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate patients' satisfaction with PORS regarding disease status, treatment, knowledge, responsibility, and cooperation with health care professionals.
Methods We conducted a quest-back survey for patients included in PORS for ≥1 year in the period from June 2016 to October 2016. The survey contained 10 questions about the pathway. The response alternatives and scoring were: not at all =1, to a small extent =2, to some extent =3, to a large extent =4, to a very large extent =5, and not relevant =0.
Results We identified 1048 eligible patients, 10 invitations were returned (unknown address), and 312 responded (30%). The descriptive analyses (see table) showed that the patients in general considered their disease activity to be in a stable phase. The cooperation with their general practitioner was good, they had to some or large extent sufficient knowledge to take responsibility for the blood test controls and adhere to prescribed medication. The patients were to some extent satisfied with the renewals of prescriptions and access to health professionals. The patients were less satisfied with the “promise” of getting outpatient appointments within 14 days if needed. Finally, the patients would largely recommend PORS to other patients.
Conclusions We found that patients with inflammatory arthritis in general were satisfied with a management pathway encouraging greater responsibility for managing their own care and the possibility for more flexible contacts with the health care services. However, fullfilling the promise of outpatient appointments within 14 days were not always possible to achieve.
Acknowledgements We would like to thank the local Rheumatology fund for financing the project.
Disclosure of Interest None declared