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Keywords:

  • Autoimmune disorders;
  • communication;
  • patient-provider communication;
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Abstract

Purpose

A sample of 150 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) participated in a predictive, descriptive, cross-sectional study which compared contextual factors of patients who perceived higher quality communication with those who perceived lower quality, and determined the predictive power of contextual factors for higher quality patient-provider communication.

Data sources

A validated, self-report scale measured patient perception of quality of patient-provider communication. Data were analyzed using chi-square tests of association, two-sample t-tests, and multiple linear regression.

Conclusions/implications for practice

There were no differences in external environmental or internal personal factors between those who perceived higher and lower quality of communication. From the linear regression, patients with fewer years of education (p = .008), those taking a greater number of RA medications (p = .03), and those living in an urban area (p = .04) perceived the quality of communication more positively. The findings from this study suggest that contextual factors (years of education, residence, and the number of medications) may affect RA patient perception of the quality of patient-provider communication. This underscores the need for development of appropriate and effective interventions to improve communication and optimize RA patient outcomes.