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Interventions to improve uptake of urate-lowering therapy in patients with gout: a systematic review


BJGP Open. 2020 Aug 25;4(3):bjgpopen20X101051. doi: 10.3399/bjgpopen20X101051.Print 2020 Aug.

Iqbal Gill 1Nicola Dalbeth 2Malakai 'Ofanoa 3Felicity Goodyear-Smith 4

Author Information

1 Faculty of Medical & Health Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

2 Bone and Joint Research Group, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

3 Pacific Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

4 Department of General Practice & Primary Health Care, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand f.goodyear-smith@auckland.ac.nz.


Background: Gout treatment is suboptimal despite available therapy, with low levels of initiation and persistence of urate-lowering therapy (ULT) in many patients.

Aim: To identify all interventions that have attempted to improve the uptake of ULT and analyse the clinical outcomes.

Design & setting: A systematic review of international articles published in English.

Method: A systematic search was conducted through MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL Plus, and Scopus databases to identify all studies on relevant interventions for gout. Interventions were included if they aimed to address patient adherence with serum urate (SU) level as an outcome. This included patient education, practitioner monitoring, medication titration, SU monitoring, and ongoing patient engagement and follow-up. Follow-up studies to original interventions and those with only an abstract available were included.

Results: Twenty articles met the inclusion criteria, describing outcomes of 18 interventions conducted in primary care settings: six nurse-led, five pharmacist-led, and seven multidisciplinary, multifaceted interventions. Improvement in SU levels was observed in all interventions. Nurse-led interventions were effective at empowering patients as they addressed illness perceptions and provided education, advice, and telephone follow-up. Pharmacist-led interventions primarily aimed to monitor patients, alter medication dosage, and provide automated telephone follow-up. Various multifaceted programmes involving a range of providers resulted in increased sustained use of urate-lowering medication.

Conclusion: A nurse-led approach focusing on patient understanding about gout is the most effective in achieving improved patient adherence, and lowered SU levels among patients. An intervention should include patient education and follow-up components.