Patients’ perceived health information needs in inflammatory arthritis: A systematic review
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Objectives: To identify the breadth of the literature regarding patients’ perceived health information needs related to inflammatory arthritis care. Methods: A systematic scoping review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycINFO was performed to identify relevant articles (1990 -2016) examining patients’ perceived needs relating to health information in inflammatory arthritis. Data and themes were identified and categorised and risk of bias assessed. Results: Twenty nine studies (11 quantitative, 14 qualitative and 4 mixed methods) from 4121 identified articles were relevant for inclusion. Most focussed on rheumatoid arthritis. Key findings included: (1) Reasons for seeking health information often focussed on gaining ownership over their condition and facilitating self-management. (2) Demographic differences in information needs were inconsistent, but women and younger patients generally reported more needs. (3) Desired information content was broad, and included targeted and practical information covering disease treatment and psychosocial wellbeing. (4) Preferred information delivery method was consultation with a Rheumatologist; however group sessions had advantages for psychosocial issues while written information provided useful supplementation. (5) Barriers to meeting health information needs were around timely access. Conclusions: Patients with inflammatory arthritis have high information needs, desiring practical and individualised information. When developing strategies to meet patients’ information needs, aligning patient expectations with delivery methods that are accessible, cost-effective and flexible may help to optimize patient outcomes.
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