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Keywords:

  • biological therapy;
  • nurse-led rheumatology clinic;
  • patients' experiences;
  • qualitative study;
  • Sweden

Abstract

In this study, patients' experiences of a nurse-led rheumatology clinic for those undergoing biological therapy are discussed. The study had an explorative design, based on a qualitative content analysis with an inductive approach. Strategic sampling was used in order to achieve variations in experiences of a nurse-led clinic. Interviews were conducted with 20 participants, and the analysis resulted in the theme “the nurse-led rheumatology clinic provided added value to patient care”. The participants' experiences of the encounter with the nurse led to a sense of security (due to competence and accessibility), familiarity (due to confirmation and sensitivity), and participation (due to exchange of information and involvement). Replacing every second visit to a rheumatologist with one to a nurse added value to the rheumatology care, making it more complete. Nurses and rheumatologists complemented each other, as they approached patients from different perspectives. This study suggests that a nurse-led rheumatology clinic adds value to the quality of care for patients in rheumatology units.