The Nurse's Role in Addressing Unmet Treatment and Management Needs of Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Delphi-Based Recommendations


  • Conflict of Interest Statements:
  • All authors who attended the Delphi meeting received a consultant fee and travel reimbursement. No payment was made to authors for the writing of this article.
  • J. Cottrell has served on nursing and allied health advisory boards for BMS, Schering-Plough, Merck, Abbott, UCB, and Roche and has been financially reimbursed for this advisory-board work.
  • J. Korvandova has been reimbursed for travel and accommodations by clinical study sponsors in her capacity as Clinical Studies Coordinator.
  • T. Lupton has been a consultant for Merck, Amgen/Pfizer, UCB, BMS, Abbott, and Roche; and has received fees as a lecturer for Merck and as a developer of educational presentations for Amgen/Pfizer and UCB.
  • C. Mallon has served on advisory boards for Abbott, Amgen, Merck, Roche, BMS, UCS, and Schering-Plough Canada, and has been financially reimbursed for this work. She also has been paid for lectures by Schering-Plough Canada and has received an educational grant from Merck paid to her employer, the University of Alberta Rapport.
  • D. Pickles has been reimbursed by Pfizer for an educational presentation at a regional dermatology meeting.
  • C. Howse, C. Logtenberg, P. Löfman, M. Jonas, L. Bulinckx, J. de la Torre Aboki, E. Blaas, U. Bergsten, and S. Oliver have nothing to disclose.

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Evaluate nurse's role in management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Modified Delphi with two rounds of questionnaires, followed by in-person meeting. International group of 12 nurses experienced with RA patients receiving biologic therapy.


Nurses often spend more time with patients than doctors do. Nurse is in unique position to explore patient needs; educate about treatment, administration, product storage, and self-injection technique; determine readiness for and understanding of treatment; monitor safety and progress; and coordinate care within multidisciplinary setting.


Nurse's role is complex and vitally important to optimal RA patient care. Additional nurse involvement may address unmet needs.

Implications for nursing practice

Rheumatology nurses can address unmet patient needs by expanding current roles and by adopting additional functions.