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01.06.2014 | original article | Ausgabe 11-12/2014

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 11-12/2014

Quality of care of rural rheumatoid arthritis patients in Austria

Zeitschrift:
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 11-12/2014
Autoren:
MD Dr. Rudolf Puchner, MD, PhD Hans Peter Brezinschek, MD, PhD Manfred Herold, MD Thomas Nothnagl, MD Andrea Studnicka-Benke, DI Josef Fritz, MD, PhD Burkhard F. Leeb
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi: 10.​1007/​s00508-014-0540-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Summary

Objectives

To determine how fast rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was diagnosed in a group of patients in a rural area and whether medical care and patient satisfaction were adequate in a predominantly non-urban settlement.

Methods

When visiting their rheumatologist, patients with RA were asked to complete a questionnaire at home after the consultation and then return it to an independent opinion research centre, where the data were collected and analysed. The form comprised various areas, namely demography, aspects of the diagnosis, medical care, therapeutic measures and the illness in a personal context.

Results

Of 150 patients, 127 answered the questionnaire. A total of 63 % of the patients lived in settlements of less than 5,000 inhabitants, and a further 18 % in settlements of more than 5,000–50,000 inhabitants. The rheumatologist attended could be reached within 1 h for 90 % of the patients.
In slightly fewer than 30 % of the respondents, the diagnosis of RA was made within 3 months, and in 44%, within 6 months. In 75 %, the diagnosis was made by a rheumatologist. After experiencing the first symptoms, 80 % of the respondents contacted their general practitioner. A high degree of satisfaction appears to originate from the information supplied by the rheumatologist attended. Most patients believed they were involved in decision making regarding their therapy.

Conclusion

The majority of the respondents came from rural areas. RA was diagnosed within 6 months for almost half of the patients questioned. Most patients believed they were well informed and involved in therapeutic decision making.

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