Musculoskeletal Care 2019 Apr 17. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Waterford, Waterford, Ireland.
Introduction: There are over 40,000 people living in Ireland with inflammatory arthritis (IA), a condition that is potentially destructive in nature and can have personal, social and economic consequences. Although we have witnessed dramatic changes in the treatment of IA in the last two decades, methotrexate (MTX) remains the first-line treatment for patients with a diagnosis of IA. Despite the fact that MTX is so commonly prescribed, there is a lack of educational materials both for healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. The aim of the present study was to develop a suite of MTX material for patients.
Methods: A comprehensive literature review of MTX (evidence, educational materials and practice guidelines) in the treatment of IA was undertaken. The content of the documents was developed, and the format and structure of the documents were agreed. A tailored patient educational guide, information/monitoring booklet and alert card were designed to address the lack of educational materials for this condition. A national pilot study of the documents was conducted (a postal questionnaire for patients and electronic survey for clinical nurse specialists). Results and recommendations were incorporated into the final documents. These documents were also incorporated into the National Clinical Care Programme-rheumatology-methotrexate pathway.
Results: A 26-page evidence-based educational guide was produced to support the HCP in educating patients taking MTX, in conjunction with a patient information/monitoring booklet and alert card to support the patient.
Conclusions: These documents are now widely available and used in clinical practice in Ireland, providing patients with standardized, evidence-based information about MTX.