Patients' Perceptions of Person-Centered Care in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Qualitative Study

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Most research on patient experiences of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) care is performed with patients who have established RA and less often with patients with early RA. Experiences of and expectations about health care may change over time, which is why the aim was to explore patients’ perceptions of person-centered care (PCC) early in the RA disease course.
Thirty-one patients with early RA were interviewed in this qualitative study. An abductive qualitative content analysis was conducted based on the framework of McCormack and McCance (1,2). The four constructs, prerequisites, care environment, person-centered processes, and person-centered outcomes, constituted the four categories in the deductive part of the study. An inductive analysis generated 11 subcategories exploring the content of PCC.
For patients with early RA, PCC was described in terms of 1) prerequisites including being treated with respect, meeting dedicated health care professionals, and meeting professional competence; 2) care environment including having access to a multidisciplinary team, having access to health care, and encountering a supportive organization; 3) person-centered processes including being listened to, being supported, and being involved in decision-making; and 4) person-centered outcomes including being satisfied with received health care and achieving optimal health.
Genuine PCC is important for patients early in the RA disease course, supporting the implementation of a person-centered approach during all stages in the health care system. This study contributes to information about how to further develop person-centeredness in rheumatology care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-795
JournalACR Open Rheumatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nursing


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