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Acceptability of a brief fatigue intervention for inflammatory arthritis: A qualitative process evaluation

Berry, Alice; Bridgewater, Susan; Abbott, Bryan; Adams, Jo; Dures, Emma

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Dr Alice Berry
Associate Professor of Rehabilitation

Bryan Abbott

Jo Adams

Emma Dures
Professor in Rheumatology and Self-management


Objectives: We developed a brief cognitive behavioural, one-to-one intervention to reduce fatigue impact for patients with inflammatory arthritis. This qualitative process evaluation explored intervention acceptability and potential refinements from the perspective of patients who attended sessions and rheumatology health professionals (RHPs) who delivered the intervention. Methods: Interviews were conducted with patients and RHPs from five National Health Service (NHS) sites. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Twenty-two patients and 11 RHPs participated. Patient themes: Collaborative, non-judgemental consultations: patients valued having space to reflect, where their fatigue was validated. Relevant content, but not ground-breaking: patients appreciated the opportunity to tailor content to individual priorities. Daily diaries were useful to visualize fatigue. Self-awareness: patients reported increased acceptance, sense of control, and confidence to manage fatigue. Degrees of openness to change: sessions prompted patients to engage in behaviour change. For some, complicated lives made it difficult to plan for change. RHP themes: Engagement with intervention: RHPs liked training face to face, and sessions were more enjoyable with experience of delivery. Research vs clinical practice: RHPs expressed concern about fitting sessions into NHS clinic appointments. It was difficult to offer follow-up sessions within 2 weeks. Collaborating with patients: RHPs reported that patients engaged with the tools and strategies. Some RHPs followed the manual in a linear way, whereas others used it flexibly. Conclusion: There is potential for this brief fatigue intervention to benefit patients. Future research will focus on flexibility to fit with local services and creating educational resources to use in a range of contexts.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 16, 2022
Publication Date Aug 26, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2022
Journal Rheumatology Advances in Practice
Print ISSN 2514-1775
Electronic ISSN 2514-1775
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 2
Article Number rkac064
Keywords inflammatory arthritis, arthritis, joints, joint disease, Fatigue, inflammatory arthritis, cognitive behavioural, process evaluation, acceptability, brief intervention, self-efficacy, rheumatology
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