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Musculoskeletal Care. 2007 Dec;5(4):216-28.

Patient priorities of care in rheumatology outpatient clinics: a qualitative study.

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ACUMeN, 2nd Floor, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 4SA, UK.



To provide more understanding of what rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients want and need from an outpatient visit.


25 patients who experienced care in a nurse practitioner clinic (n = 10), junior doctor clinic (n = 9) or consultant clinic (n = 6) in a large teaching hospital in West Yorkshire were interviewed about their perceptions and experiences of care. Interviews were approximately 1 1/2 hours in duration and were carried out in a neutral environment by a research nurse. Interview data were subjected to atheoretical content analysis, which resulted in the identification of emergent themes.


Five main themes emerged from the analysis of interview data: 1) patients want to be communicated to clearly and effectively and value positive relationships with practitioners. These help to give patients confidence in the care they are receiving; 2) patients want to feel in control of their condition and tend to refuse interventions as a way of gaining control; 3) patients want to be given clear explanations during consultations, and want information in oral and written forms; 4) patients want to be able to access practitioners between scheduled appointments as a way of gaining reassurance; and 5) patients want to feel valued by society through having their difficulties appreciated and understood by others.


This research adds to the body of evidence on what patients want from their rheumatology care, and each theme has clear implications for future practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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