21. Optimal care in rheumatoid arthritis: Preliminary findings from a focus group study

S. Bernatsky, D. Feldman, M. Roper, E. Rosenberg


The objective of our work was to identify facilitators of optimal care, as well as potential barriers, for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The design was a focus group study. Individuals with established RA were identified through invitation letters sent using a random sample of the Quebec Arthritis Society mailing list. Patients were eligible for participation if they had a diagnosis of RA confirmed by a rheumatologist and if they had sought care within the McGill Réseau Universitaire Intégré de Santé network. We planned a series of focus group meetings (90 minutes each) to obtain sufficient data in terms of spectrum of ideas. In each moderator-led group, participants were asked to discuss five questions related to quality care. A co-moderator was available to document non-verbal communication, with audio-taping of all sessions and professional transcription for data analysis. Qualitative content analysis, based on grounded theory, was the chosen means of identifying recurring themes and categories.
Two focus group sessions have been completed with two more scheduled. Preliminary findings indicate the importance of good communication between family physicians, specialists, and allied health care workers. Final coding of transcripts and computer-assisted content analysis is being completed. However it appears that focus group may be useful in studying optimal care for chronic diseases such as RA. Our preliminary findings emphasize the necessity of good communication among health care providers. Ultimately we hope to generate knowledge that can be transformed into better health for Canadians with arthritis and other chronic diseases.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25011/cim.v30i4.2781


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