Fatigue communication at the out-patient clinic of Rheumatology.
until further notice
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 76, 1, (2009), pp. 57-62
Article / Letter to editor
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Centre for Quality of Care Research
Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectIGMD 6: Hormonal regulation; N4i 4: Auto-immunity, transplantation and immunotherapy; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCEBP 6: Quality of nursing and allied health care; ONCOL 4: Quality of Care; NCEBP 6: Quality of nursing and allied health care
OBJECTIVE: To describe nurse-patient and rheumatologist-patient interaction in fatigue communication at the rheumatology out-patient clinic. METHODS: Consultations of 20 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with the nurse specialist and the rheumatologist were videotaped and analysed using the Medical Interview Aural Rating Scale (MIARS). Subsequently, patients were asked to fill out a concern questionnaire asking how worried they felt and how satisfied they were with attention given by both healthcare professionals. Finally, patients were interviewed on reasons for being not or not completely satisfied with the care received. RESULTS: Fatigue was discussed in 42% of the rheumatologists' consultations and 83% of the nurse specialists' consultations. RA patients more often used implicit cues instead of explicit concerns related to fatigue. Almost 72% of the patients felt worried about fatigue and in general they were more satisfied with the nurse specialist's attention to fatigue than with the attention from the rheumatologist. CONCLUSION: Fatigue is not structurally communicated at the rheumatology out-patient clinic and exploring and acknowledging communication techniques can help patients to express their concerns about fatigue. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Healthcare professionals must recognise fatigue as a severe problem for RA patients and start the conversation on fatigue instead of waiting for the patient to mention fatigue spontaneously.
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