The purpose of this study was to describe the perspectives of patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) on medication adherence interventions.


Objective To describe the perspectives of patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) on outcome domains of trials evaluating medication adherence interventions.

Methods Adult patients (≥18 years) with IA using disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) from centres across Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands participated in six focus groups to discuss outcome domains of medication adherence trials that they consider important. We analysed the transcripts using inductive thematic analysis.

Results Of the 38 participants, 23 (61%) had rheumatoid arthritis and 21 (55%) were female. The mean age was 57.3 ± SD [15.0] years. Improved outcome domains that patients wanted from participating in an adherence trial were categorised into five types: medication adherence, adherence-related factors (supporting adherence e.g. medication knowledge), pathophysiology (e.g. physical functioning), life impact (e.g. ability to work), and economic impact (e.g. productivity loss). Three overarching themes reflecting why these outcome domains matters to patients were identified. First, how taking medications could improve patient’s emotional and physical fitness to maintain their social function. Second, how improving knowledge and confidence in self-management increase patient’s trust in and motivation to take medications as agreed with minimal risk of harms. Finally, how respect and reassurance, reflecting healthcare that values patient’s opinions and is sensitive to patient’s individual goals could improve medication taking behaviour.

Conclusion Patients value various outcome domains to be evaluated in future adherence trials related to their overall well-being, confidence in medication use and patient-healthcare provider relationships.

Bekker, C. L., Bossina, S., de Vera, M. A., Bartlett, S. J., de Wit, M., March, L., … & van den Bemt, B. J. (2021). Patient perspectives on outcome domains of medication adherence trials in inflammatory arthritis: an international OMERACT focus group study. The Journal of Rheumatology.