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SP0165 Can musculoskeletal ultrasound inform health beliefs and play a role for medication adherence?
  1. K Kumar
  1. University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a condition with no cure and can cause disability1. RA affects nearly 1 in 100 adults. Early disease is characterised by pain and other features of inflammation, such as heat, swelling of joints, and loss of function. RA is associated with increased costs of co-morbid conditions (such as cardiovascular (CVD) associated with RA2.

Medication can ease symptoms and limit disease progression in RA3. Despite this, nonadherence to medication is common in RA4. In the UK, we found that showing patients their joint swelling via musculoskeletal ultrasound scan as an educational tool helped to increase beliefs about the necessity of treatment5. Our study provided a deeper understanding of adherence to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in patients with RA. Improving adherence is likely to be facilitated by incorporating visual representations of the disease process and better explanations of the consequences of poorly controlled RA into the consultation. This session will uncover some suggestions around the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in improving adherence to DMARDs.


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  2. John H, Kitas G, Toms T, Goodson N. Cardiovascular co-morbidity in early rheumatoid arthritis. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 2009; 23(1):71–82.

  3. Smolen JS, Landewe R, Breedveld FC, Dougados M, Emery P, Gaujoux-Viala C et al. EULAR recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis with synthetic and biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Ann Rheum Dis 2010; 69(6):964–975.

  4. Pasma A, Schenk CV, Timman R, Busschbach J, van den bemt B, Molenaar E et al. Non-adherence to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs is associated with higher disease activity in early arthritis patients in the first year of the disease. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2015; 17:doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0801-4.

  5. Kumar K, Raza K, Gill P, Greenfield S. The impact of using musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging and other influencing factors on medication adherence in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a qualitative study. Patient Prefer Adherence 2016; 10:1091–1100.


Disclosure of Interest None declared

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