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Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Aug;45(4):372-7.

Rheumatology patient and physician concordance with respect to important health and symptom status outcomes.

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1
Department of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ohio 44106-6033, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In chronic diseases such as arthritis, patients' priorities and values are of prime importance in the measurement of outcome. Relatively few indices take this into account. We sought to identify individual rheumatology patients' choices for important health and symptom status outcomes and assess physicians' ability to detect them.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional, observational study design was used to examine rheumatology patients' choices for important health and symptom status outcomes. A descriptive summary of patients' choices of "most important" health and symptom status outcomes was compiled. The sensitivity and specificity of physicians' ability to detect their patients' choices for important health or symptom status outcomes were calculated.

RESULTS:

The sample consisted of 79 rheumatology patients, 30 men and 49 women, with a mean age of 52.6 years. The feeling of being in control was the mental health outcome rated most important by the largest number of the patients (42%); cognitive function (making decisions, solving problems) (22%), feelings of being happy (18%), and feelings of being satisfied (16%) were also rated as being "most important" by many patients. Feelings of hope were rated "most important" by the fewest patients (2%). The physicians' sensitivity to detecting patients' choices of most important outcomes was highest for social functioning and lowest for mental functioning. The specificity to detect patients' choices of less important outcomes was highest for physical functioning and lowest for symptom status.

CONCLUSION:

In this study involving 4 rheumatologists, patients were found to differ in their choices of important health and symptom status outcomes. Physicians often fail to identify these choices.

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