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Br J Rheumatol. 1998 Apr;37(4):459-60.

The risk of treatment. A study of rheumatoid arthritis patients' attitudes.

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Rheumatic Diseases Unit, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.


Despite its importance, there is no well-validated method of measuring patients' concept of 'acceptable' risk of medical treatment. Numerical methods give widely varying results depending on the methodology. We have attempted to assess 'acceptable' risk using relative comparisons. We administered a questionnaire to 67 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In general, patients' estimate of acceptable risk was less than the actual risk of treatment. Some illogical choices were made, showing poor understanding by patients of the concepts of risk and risk:benefit ratio. Patients appeared willing to accept higher levels of risk from procedures than from drug treatment. Willingness to accept risk in exchange for successful treatment of their RA did not correlate with disease severity, age, willingness to take non-medical risks or family responsibilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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