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Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Feb;45(1):1-7.

The experience of patients with rheumatoid arthritis admitted to hospital.

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Cannock Chase Hospital, Staffordshire, UK.



To describe the experiences of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when admitted to hospital.


A selected sample of 9 women with RA of at least 3 years duration, who had experienced at least 5 days of inpatient care within the previous 2 years, underwent unstructured interviews in this qualitative, phenomenological study. Information from the interviews was analyzed using Colaizzi's 6 procedural steps.


Five major themes emerged from the study: uncertainty during the first admission to hospital; the process of becoming an experienced patient on subsequent admissions; the evident experience and knowledge of staff; the effect, both positive and negative, of other patients; and the loss of privacy.


These findings throw important new light on the experience of patients with RA receiving inpatient rheumatologic care and have the potential to significantly advance nursing practice within rheumatology.

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