Ingrid Larsson discussed her study on how person centred care can improve health consumer skills more than regular care during a health professional abstract session at EULAR 2015. She defined person centred care as:
holistic care which sees the person as a whole
respectful care which honours the values of the person
empowering care which essentially shares the power and responsibility of care
The premise of person centred care is that the person is an expert in their own narrative and life experiences but the practitioner is an expert in medical treatment. Together they create a team to create an expert plan of care.
In their study, they replaced one of the two yearly, regular rheumatology visits with a nurse-led person centred care clinic. They found that nurses were able to monitor patients at reduced cost and with no difference in clinical medical outcomes. The person centred care clinic also provided additional value for the patients based on a consumer scale.
Next up was Bente Esbensen who discussed a qualitative study of men living with rheumatoid arthritis. The prevalence of RA is 0.5-1% overall, but one male is affected for every three females. Since the incidence of men with RA is less common, the perspective of the male patient is sometimes lost. The aim of this study was to explore the men’s perspective of the disease and their self-management of it.
There were 26 men with RA selected to participate and 17 agreed to participate in the study. The study looked at the men’s feelings about being diagnosed with RA, adapting to life on medication, physical activity and physical challenges, interactions with their female partner, job interactions, and dealing with the disease in a masculine way.
Overall they found that being diagnosed with RA had a great impact on the men’s perception of their activities of life. Some of those perceptions included feeling frustrated because they cannot "fix" the disease, having difficulty with and avoiding physical challenges, having to rely on their female partner for help with their disease such as administering injection medications or helping more with household duties, having difficulty in work situations, and not feeling masculine.
Future studies may consider looking at how to adapt treatment to men, how physical and sport abilities may be affected in men with RA, work impact, and interactions with their female partner.