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Experiences Of Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Qualitative Study

Li Wen Poh, Hong-Gu He, Wai Chi Sally Chan, Ching Siang Cindy Lee, Manjari Lahiri, Anselm Mak, Peter P. Cheung

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that greatly impacts one’s physical and psychosocial well-being. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and support needs of adult patients living with RA. A descriptive qualitative study was conducted, and 16 adults with RA were interviewed from October 2013 to January 2014. The transcribed data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: altered physical capacity and well-being, psychological and emotional challenges, changes in social life, coping strategies, and support received and further support needs. This study provided insights into the experiences and support needs of patients with RA in Singapore. Physical and psychosocial challenges experienced by patients affected their daily and social activities. Patients’ needs for variety of support should be addressed.