Expectations and Experiences of a Group of Patients Enrolled in an Educational Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis at a Specialized Care Center in Colombia

Ruth Alexandra Castiblanco-Montañez, Diana Buitrago-Garcia, Adriana Arévalo Velandia, Julián David Garzón-Cepeda, Fernando Rodríguez-Florido, Guillermo Sánchez Vanegas, Pedro Santos-Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease diagnosed in a productive stage of life. Patients with RA experience changes in their musculoskeletal system, overall health and quality of life. It has been identified that patients with RA do not have appropriate knowledge about their condition. Educational programs can provide new knowledge, accompaniment, and closer follow-up to improve empowerment and quality of life in patients with RA.

PURPOSE: To describe rheumatoid arthritis patients' experiences, perceptions, and expectations when enrolling on a multicomponent educational program in a specialized RA setting.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A qualitative study was done. Patients with RA who attended a specialized center and enrolled in an educational program participated in two focus groups. The focus group discussions and the interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, analyzed, and emerging themes were constructed.

RESULTS: Thirty-one participants were included in the focus groups. The median age was 60 years IQR (54-67), 92% were female. Two relevant categories emerged: first, the experience of being diagnosed with RA. Second, the program's ability to empower participants with knowledge and the possibility of transferring knowledge to other patients with the same condition. In addition, patients gave a high score to the expectations regarding the educational program.

CONCLUSION: Understanding patients' expectations when enrolling in an educational program allows educators and clinicians to understand their motivations to create tailored programs that can contribute to acquiring empowerment in the educational process and managing their disease. Stakeholders should consider patients' expectations when implementing these interventions for patients with RA to adapt the intervention according to the patient's context and needs, which will directly affect the patient's adherence and lead to better use and allocation of resources for educational activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-492
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of multidisciplinary healthcare
StatePublished - 2023


  • patient education
  • patient preference
  • qualitative research


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