Patient-perceived health service needs in inflammatory arthritis: A systematic scoping review
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Background: Care that is patient-centred is more likely to be sustainable and associated with improved health outcomes. This approach to care requires an understanding of patients' health service needs, yet few studies have directly investigated the perceived health service needs of people with inflammatory arthritis. Objectives: To systematically identify the existing literature relating to patient perceived health service needs for inflammatory arthritis. Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO was conducted (1990-2016). Studies examining patients' perceived needs relating to health services for inflammatory arthritis were identified. Descriptive data regarding study design and methodology were extracted and risk of bias assessed. Findings were collated and categorized thematically. Results: In total, 27 of 1405 (16 qualitative, 9 quantitative, and 2 mixed-methods) studies were relevant. The main areas of perceived need related to (1) Communication: consumers wanted clear, empathic communication, and to be involved with decision-making. (2) Characteristics of ongoing care: adequate consultation length with continuity and timely care were valued. (3) Factors influencing care-seeking included individual attitudes, disease severity, finances and family expectations. (4) Allied health and complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) were perceived as useful by many. The reporting of CAM use to doctors was variable, with several factors contributing to under-reporting. Conclusions: This review identified patients' perceived needs for better communication with their health providers, the heterogeneity of influences determining when care is sought and preferences regarding non-pharmacologic therapies. Aligning patients' perceived needs with evidence-based therapy for people with inflammatory arthritis will be important in optimizing patient outcomes.
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