HealthDay News — Patients with inflammatory arthritis want to be informed about multiple current and future treatment options, according to research published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Ingrid Nota, from the University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with 32 patients with inflammatory arthritis. Participants had recently consulted their rheumatologist and discussed disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) initiation.

The researchers found that reasons to initiate DMARDs included belief in the necessity of DMARDs, either for symptom relief or prevention of future joint damage. In this respect, trust in the rheumatologist and health care system was important. Many concerns were expressed in relation to initiation of DMARDs; these related to perceived aggressive and harmful nature of DMARDs, potential side effects, impact on fertility and pregnancy, interaction with other medications, time to beneficial effect, and manner of administration. 

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Patients were also concerned about long-term medication use and drug dependency, as well as about the risks of future treatments and running out of options if the medication proved to be ineffective. Participants wanted to be informed about multiple treatment options, both current and future, in order to decrease uncertainty. They wanted to receive information on how medications could impact their daily lives, as well as clinical information.

“Information should enable patients to compare treatments with regard to both clinical aspects and possible consequences for their daily lives,” the authors said. 


1. Nota I, et al. Arthritis Care Res. 2015; doi: 10.1002/acr.22531.