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Patient preferences for psychological support in inflammatory arthritis: A multicentre survey

Dures, Emma; Almeida, Celia; Caesley, Judy; Peterson, Alice; Ambler, Nicholas; Morris, Marianne; Pollock, Jon; Hewlett, Sarah


Emma Dures
Associate Professor in Rheumatology and Self-management

Judy Caesley

Alice Peterson

Nicholas Ambler

Marianne Morris

Jon Pollock


Objectives. Inflammatory arthritis (IA) can lead to anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue. Psychological support can improve quality of life and selfmanagement; and European and American guidelines recommend support be offered. This study examined patient views on psychological support for their IA. Methods. A questionnaire designed by researchers, patient partners and clinicians was administered to 2280 patients with IA. Results. 1210 patients responded (53%): 74% women; mean age 59 years (SD 12.7); patient global 5 (2.3); disease duration 10 (39%). Only 23% reported routinely being asked about social and emotional issues by a rheumatology professional, but 46% would like the opportunity to discuss psychological impact. If offered, 66% of patients reported they would use a self-management/coping clinic (63% pain management, 60% occupational therapy, 48% peer support groups, 46% patient education, 46% psychology/counselling). Patients want support with managing the impact of pain and fatigue (82%), managing emotions (57%), work and leisure (52%), relationships (37%) and depression (34%). Preferences are for support to be delivered by the rheumatology team (nurse 74%, doctor 55%) and general practitioners (GPs) (51%). Only 6% of patients stated that social and emotional issues were not relevant. Conclusions. Demand for psychological support is high; however, less than a quarter of patients reported being asked about social and emotional issues, suggesting a gap between needs and provision. The preference is for delivery from rheumatology clinicians and GPs, and research should establish whether they have the skills and resources to meet patients' needs.


Dures, E., Almeida, C., Caesley, J., Peterson, A., Ambler, N., Morris, M., …Hewlett, S. (2016). Patient preferences for psychological support in inflammatory arthritis: A multicentre survey. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 75(1), 142-147.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 13, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Print ISSN 0003-4967
Electronic ISSN 1468-2060
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Issue 1
Pages 142-147
Keywords arthritis, patient support, psychological support
Public URL
Publisher URL