Facilitators and Barriers to Adherence in the Initiation Phase of Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drug (DMARD) Use in Patients with Arthritis Who Recently Started Their First DMARD Treatment

Annelieke Pasma, Adriaan Spijker, J.J. Luime, MJM (Margot) Walter, Jan van Busschbach, Mieke Hazes

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Objective. To explore themes associated with adherence in the initiation phase for first-time use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) in patients with inflammatory arthritis using focus groups and individual interviews. Methods. Thirty-three patients were interviewed in focus groups and individual interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and imported into ATLAS.ti software (Scientific Software Development GmbH). Responses that included reasons for adherence or nonadherence in the initiation phase were extracted and coded by 2 coders separately. The 2 coders conferred until consensus on the codes was achieved. Codes were classified into overarching themes. Results. Five themes emerged: (1) symptom severity, (2) experiences with medication, (3) perceptions about medication and the illness, (4) information about medication, and (5) communication style and trust in the rheumatologist. Conclusion. Perceptions about medication and the communication style with, and trust in, the rheumatologist were mentioned the most in relation to starting DMARD. The rheumatologist plays a crucial role in influencing adherence behavior by addressing perceptions about medication, providing information, and establishing trust in the treatment plan.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MUSC-01-31-01
  • EMC NIHES-04-58-01

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