Twohig, H, Mitchell, C, Mallen, CD, Adebajo, A and Mathers, N (2015) "I suddenly felt I'd aged": a qualitative study of patient experiences of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Patient Education and Counseling, 98 (5). 645 - 650. ISSN 0738-3991

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OBJECTIVES: To explore patient experiences of living with, and receiving treatment for, PMR. METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews, with 22 patients with PMR recruited from general practices in South Yorkshire. Thematic analysis using a constant comparative method, ran concurrently with the interviews and was used to derive a conceptual framework. RESULTS: 5 Key themes emerged highlighting the importance of: (1) pain, stiffness and weakness, (2) disability, (3) treatment and disease course, (4) experience of care, (5) psychological impact of PMR. Patients emphasised the profound disability experienced that was often associated with fear and vulnerability, highlighting how this was often not recognised by health care professionals. Patients' experiences also challenge medical convention, particularly around the concept of 'weakness' as a symptom, the use of morning stiffness as a measure of disease activity and the myth of full resolution of symptoms with steroid treatment. Treatment decisions were complex, with patients balancing glucocorticoid side effects against persistent symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Patients often described their experience of PMR in terms of disability rather than focussing on localised symptoms. The associated psychological impact was significant. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Recognising this is key to achieving shared understanding, reaching the correct diagnosis promptly, and formulating a patient-centred management plan.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Polymyalgia rheumatica; Patient perspective; Qualitative research
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 May 2023 12:36
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 12:36

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