Mediterr J Rheumatol 2020;31(Supp 1):152-62
Patients’ and Doctors’ Beliefs about Treatment and Long-Term Adherence in Rheumatic Diseases
Authors Information
1. Professor of Health Economics, MBA-Health, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
2. MBA-Health, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
3. President of the PanHellenic Federation of Patients, Parents, Caregivers and Friends of Children with Rheumatic iseases, RHEUMAZEIN
4. University of York, United Kingdom
5. Professor of Medical Rheumatology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the beliefs of rheumatologists and patients about treatment-related factors, long-term adherence, and their communication with regard to rheumatic diseases.

Methods: In a multicentre, observational studyconducted in Greece, a structured questionnaire was administered to75 rheumatologists and 398 rheumatic patients from different regions. Five domains were investigated: i) effectiveness of treatment, ii) choice of treatment, iii) change of ineffective treatment, iv) long-term adherence, and v) the quality of communication between doctors and patients. Descriptive data, confidence intervals, t-tests and factor analysis were employed.

Results: Examining the patients’ and rheumatologists’ beliefs and attitudes about treatment profiles and long-term adherence, a statistically significant convergence in their views on effectiveness and safety as the predominant factors concerning choice of treatment and long-term adherence was found. Although patients reported high trust to their doctors, a divergence of views is recorded regarding communication of the two parts. Statistically significant differences in the views between patients and rheumatologists were found with regards to access (p<0.001), time per visit (p<0.001), mutual understanding (p<0.001), and overall communication (p<0.001).  

Conclusions: Our study shows a great rate of agreement between patients and rheumatologists regarding the factors determining the efficacy, choice, switching and adherence to treatment while there was significant divergence in the views regarding the quality of communication between the two parts. Co-ordinated efforts are needed in order to improve the communication level between rheumatic patients and rheumatologists.


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©Yfantopoulos J, Protopapa M, Mantalias K, Chantzaras A, Koutsogianni K, Yfantopoulos P, Vassilopoulos D.