Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects both physical functioning, emotional, psychological and social aspects and affects the entire life situation. Pharmacological treatment reduces disease activity and controls symptoms to reduce permanent joint damage and prevent functional disabilities. Early treatment can lead to remission.
Rheumatological care strives to identify and meet the needs of the patients and to understand illness and treatment from the patients' perspective. Person-centered care emphasizes the importance of making the patient a co-actor, which WHO considers to be important in good health care. Research shows that person-centered care increases patient satisfaction and lead to an equal relationship between patient and health care professionals that strengthens participation and independence for the patients.
Research about patient preferences in the first years of RA is scarce and it is, therefore, of importance to explore patients' preferences of treatment outcomes when a person has developed a chronic disease such as RA. Patients with eRA may have specific needs and different views and expectations of treatment outcomes then patients with established RA, and this knowledge is crucial for designing more targeted efforts and to improve the overall quality of care of patients with RA.
This project is part of a European collaboration called EQPERA - European Qualitative research project on Patient-preferred outcomes in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The research is made in collaboration with a patient research partner.