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Making space for patients' preferences in precision medicine: a qualitative study exploring perspectives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Karin Schölin Bywall
  • Jennifer Viberg Johansson
  • Inger Erlandsson
  • Marie Heidenvall
  • Marta Lason
  • Bente Appel Esbensen
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OBJECTIVE: Precision medicine in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) creates new opportunities to involve patients in early identification of accurate indicators of health trajectories. The aim of this study was to explore patient perspectives on patient-centredness in precision medicine for RA treatment.

DESIGN: Semistructured interviews were conducted to explore patients' perspectives on a new personalised approach to RA treatment. The interview guide was developed together with patient research partners and health care professionals.

SETTING: An invitation to the interviews was sent through a mobile application. The interviews were one-on-one, using an interview guide with open-ended questions. Interviews were conducted digitally (October 2020-February 2021) via Zoom or telephone, depending on each participant's preferences.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients with RA (N=12) were purposively recruited. Patients were eligible if they had an RA diagnosis, were aged 18-80 years, and understood and expressed themselves in Swedish. Participants and researchers did not know each other prior to the interviews.

RESULTS: Participants expressed desires and needs for patients to have an active role in precision medicine by making shared treatment decisions together with a healthcare professional. In order for that to work, patients need information on potential treatment options, an ability to express their preferences, an individual treatment plan and identification of personal treatment goals. Patients also identified two requirements of healthcare professional in precision medicine: a safe environment to express personal matters and two-way communication with healthcare professionals.

CONCLUSION: Communication between patients and healthcare professionals needs to be more focused on patients' individual treatment preferences and expressed needs, in order to increase patient-centredness in treatment decisions, so shared decision-making can become a reality. More research is needed to design multifaceted implementation strategies to support patients and healthcare professionals to increase patient-centredness throughout treatment personalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere058303
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)e058303
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

ID: 78365005