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New Study Highlights Need for Better Interaction and Education Between Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients and Care Providers
Date:10/28/2008

Study Also Underscores High Level of Patient Dissatisfaction with Pain Management

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- 5:00 am PDT -- UCB announced today findings from large-scale rheumatoid arthritis (RA) surveys collectively called the DESIGN study that showed patients rating themselves as having substantially less knowledge of RA therapies than their physicians and nurses believed. The survey also showed disagreement between physicians and nurses over who should be charged with patient education, as well as a high level of patient dissatisfaction with the level of pain they suffer from RA. These surveys, designed to assess the attitudes of RA patients and their healthcare providers, were presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting.

In the global study of more than 3,300 patients, nurses and physicians, 87 percent of physicians and 90 percent of nurses believed their patients had a high level of knowledge of current RA treatments. But when asked, only 50 percent of RA patients rated their knowledge as high.

The survey also asked doctors and nurses about who should be responsible for educating patients to monitor for side effects of therapies. Only 14 percent of physicians believed that nurses should educate patients, while 68 percent of nurses thought they were best able to handle this aspect of patient care. Despite these differences, nurses, physicians and patients were aligned in terms of RA treatment goals.

"These findings help pinpoint areas for additional attention where we can better work together to improve the patient understanding of this complex disease," said Nicole Furfaro, A.R.N.P., M.S.N., study investigator at Seattle Rheumatology Associates. "Patients clearly can benefit from more interaction and education from their care providers to help bridge the gaps in knowledge and manage expectations of RA therapy."

The study also assessed RA-associated pain in U.S. and Europ
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