Rheumatoid Arthritis Self-Management Toolkit for Physician Assistants
Rheumatoid Arthritis Toolkit for PAs
Keywords:Rheumatoid Arthritis, Physician Assistants, Primary Health Care, Self-management Strategies, Chronic Disease Management
Background: Self-management is a key component of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease. Primary care physician assistants (PA) are uniquely situated to provide chronic disease management, equipping patients with the education and skills needed to self-manage RA. Purpose: To create a self-management toolkit for primary care PAs to use with patients diagnosed with RA. Methods: Characteristics of effective patient self-management interventions for individuals with RA were identified through a literature search. Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINHAL databases were systematically searched and a total of 8 articles met inclusion criteria. Thematic analysis identified common themes of effective RA self-management interventions. Results: Four patient characteristics were identified to influence self-management of RA including patient medication management and education, healthy lifestyle, symptom management with non-pharmacological interventions, and emotion management. Two primary healthcare provider characteristics were identified to impact patient self-management of RA including smooth transition of care between healthcare providers and knowledgeability and confidence of primary healthcare providers. Implications: Based on the identified characteristics of effective RA self-management, a toolkit for primary care PAs was proposed.
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