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Keywords:

  • Biologics;
  • Delphi;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • self-injection;
  • survey

Purpose

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

Methods

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

Findings

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.

Conclusions

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.