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Rev Rhum Engl Ed. 1997 Jul-Sep;64(7-9):443-50.

Multidisciplinary day hospital treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Evaluation after two years.

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  • 1Rheumatology Department, Saint-Antoine Teaching Hospital, Paris, France.


The availability of multidisciplinary care for rheumatoid arthritis is still limited. The Raoul Dufy Program offered by the Saint-Antoine Teaching Hospital in Paris provides one-on-one personalized care in a day hospital setting as an adjunct to conventional medical follow-up. Listening and providing information and education are major objectives of the nurse, rheumatologist and physical therapist participating in the program. The team also includes a social worker, a surgeon, a dietician, a podiatrist and a psychologist, who intervene as needed. Seventy patients attended the program between December 1993 and September 1995 and were asked to complete a baseline and a three-month questionnaire designed to evaluate the effects of the program in terms of new therapeutic interventions, patient knowledge and quality of life. The patient knowledge score increased significantly (P < 0.0001). Many therapeutic interventions were initiated after program attendance, especially in the fields of podiatry, psychology and physical therapy. However, the quality of life score failed to improve. These results and the substantial patient demand for appointments are encouraging. Further work is needed on the methodology of multidisciplinary care evaluation. Coping strategy evaluation tools may allow to identify some of the specific benefits provided by the multidisciplinary approach.

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