Background Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) have an increased morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and screening for cardiovascular risk is recommended by EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) (1). There is a lack of evidence on RA patients' experience of being screened for CVD, which is important in order to determine how to organize and further develop screening programs for CVD amongst patients with RA.
Objectives To explore RA patients' experiences from participation in nurse-led screening for CVD and to identify key issues on to how to organize future screening programs.
Methods Three qualitative focus group interviews with 14 outpatients (eight female and six men; age ranged from 51-70 years) diagnosed with RA were carried out. The participants were stratified into groups depending on whether the participant had low to moderate or high 10-year risk of cardiovascular death according to the European SCORE system (2). Data was analyzed using meaning condensation (3) in accordance with a phenomenological approach in order to identify key themes.
Results Five main themes were identified: Reactions to receiving the invitation to the screening consultation; screening consultations were adjusted to needs and RA; time was aligned with needs; the screening consultation lead to relief; motivation and a sense of control.
Regardless of their CV risk the participants found it important that the screening consultation were adjusted to their needs and RA, as RA had a major impact on their daily life.
Conclusions Nurse-led screening consultations can lead to relief, motivation and a sense of control. When planning future screening programs for CVD amongst patients with RA it is important that the screening consultation is individualised and tailored to the patients' needs and their RA.
Peters MJ, Symmons DP, McCarey D, Dijkmans BA, Nicola P, Kvien TK, et al. EULAR evidence-based recommendations for cardiovascular risk management in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of inflammatory arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 2010 Feb;69(2):325-31.
Graham I, Atar D, Borch-Johnsen K, Boysen G, Burell G, Cifkova R, et al. European guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice: full text. Fourth Joint Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and other societies on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice (constituted by representatives of nine societies and by invited experts). Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 2007 Sep;14 Suppl 2:S1-113.
Giorgi A. An application of phenomenological method in psychology. Giorgi,A; Fischer,C; Murray,E. Dupuesne studies in phenomenological psychology. Pittsburg, PA: Duquesne University Press 1975 Jan;2:82-103.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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