Perceptions of the risks and benefits of medicines in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other painful musculoskeletal conditions
Berry, D., Bradlow, A. and Bersellini, E. (2004) Perceptions of the risks and benefits of medicines in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other painful musculoskeletal conditions. Rheumatology, 43 (7). pp. 901-905. ISSN 1462-0324
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keh196
Objectives. To examine beliefs about medication risks and benefits in patients attending a specialist rheumatology clinic for pain-related conditions. Methods. Eighty-one patients (37 first attendees and 44 existing clinic patients) completed a written questionnaire which asked about current treatments, perceived effectiveness, main risks and benefits, and compliance. Results. Existing clinic patients perceived medications to be more effective and more risky than did the new patients, although both groups rated risks to be moderately low. The main perceived risks were adverse side-effects, although patients reported only moderately low levels of experiencing such effects. Conclusions. In contrast to some other studies, many of our patients were aware of medication risks and were prepared to accept them provided benefits were seen to be high. Existing clinic patients were more aware of risks and benefits, and reported higher compliance levels than new patients, possibly as a result of the hospital education programme. Future studies should evaluate the effects of the programme more systematically.