Machin, A, Hider, S, Dale, N and Chew-Graham, C (2017) Improving recognition of anxiety and depression in rheumatoid arthritis: a qualitative study in a community clinic. British Journal of General Practice, 67 (661). e531 - e537. ISSN 1478-5242

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BACKGROUND: Comorbid anxiety and depression are common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but are often under-recognised and treated, contributing to worse outcomes. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that patients with RA should be offered a holistic annual review, including an assessment of mood. AIM: To explore patients' perspectives of anxiety and depression in RA and preferences for disclosure and management of mood problems. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative interview study with patients recruited from a nurse-led RA annual review clinic in the Midlands, England. METHOD: Patients attending the clinic who scored ≥3 on the case-finding questions (PHQ-2 and GAD-2) were invited for interview. Data were analysed thematically using principles of constant comparison. RESULTS: Participants recognised a connection between their RA and mood, though this was perceived variably. Some lacked candidacy for care, normalising their mood problems. Fear of stigmatisation, a lack of time, and the perception that clinicians prioritise physical over mental health problems recursively affected help-seeking. Good communication and continuity of care were perceived to be integral to disclosure of mood problems. Participants expressed a preference for psychological therapies, though they reported problems accessing care. Some perceived medication to be offered as a 'quick fix' and feared potential drug interactions. CONCLUSION: Prior experiences can lead patients with RA and comorbid anxiety and depression to feel they lack candidacy for care. Provision of equal priority to mental and physical health problems by GPs and improved continuity of care could help disclosure of mood concerns. Facilitation of access to psychological therapies could improve outcomes for both mental and physical health problems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anxiety; arthritis, rheumatoid; case-finding; depression; GAD-2; PHQ-2

R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system

Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2017 08:51
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2018 01:30

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