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Nurse telephone education for promoting a treat-to-target approach in recently diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis patients: A pilot project

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Farley S1, Libman B1, Edwards M1, Possidente CJ2, Kennedy AG3. Musculoskeletal Care. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1002/msc.1376. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information 1 Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont, US. 2 Medical Outcomes, Pfizer Inc., Jericho, Vermont, US. 3 Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, US.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to implement a nurse telephone education programme for patients with recently diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that promotes shared decision-making and a treat-to-target approach.

METHODS: This was a pilot project of newly diagnosed adult RA patients conducted between November 2015 and December 2016. A rheumatology clinic nurse telephoned patients to offer disease education. A toolkit was mailed to patients. Measures included call attempts, call time, a qualitative description of free-text notes and the proportion of patients who adhered to their next clinic visit. Data were analysed descriptively and qualitatively.

RESULTS: Twenty-six patients participated in the nurse calls. Most patients were female (65%), with a median age of 54 years (range 22-78 years). Median call length was 14.5 min, with a range of 8-23 min. Qualitative notes indicated that patients overwhelmingly supported the nurse calls. Nineteen patients (73%) were adherent to their follow-up visit.

CONCLUSION: This preliminary project successfully implemented an educational programme that included a nurse-facilitated, R