Web-Based QoL Tool Beneficial in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Patients have more discussions with their doctor; doctors more satisfied with care

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children with arthritis who use a Web-based application to monitor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) have more discussions with their rheumatologist about psychosocial issues, and their physicians are more satisfied with the care provided during consultations, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in Pediatrics.

Lotte Haverman, from Emma Children's Hospital in Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a study involving 176 children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis who completed Web-based questionnaires to assess HRQoL and generate an electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) profile, which was provided to their pediatric rheumatologist. The ePROfile was not discussed during the consultation during the control period but was provided and discussed during the intervention period.

The researchers found that using the ePROfile significantly increased the discussion of psychosocial issues and significantly increased the satisfaction of the physician with the care provided during the office visit. Use of the ePROfile had no effect on referrals to a psychologist or parental satisfaction. In 80 to 100 percent of the consultations, parents and physicians rated the ePROfile as positive.

"In conclusion, a Web-based application to systemically monitor HRQoL problems in pediatric rheumatology is effective in increasing discussion about psychosocial topics and satisfaction with the provided care by the pediatric rheumatologist," Haverman and colleagues conclude. "Therefore, we recommend implementation of the ePROfile in daily clinical practice, to detect HRQoL problems at an early stage and to provide timely and tailored interventions."

The study was supported by Pfizer BV Pharmaceuticals and AGIS Healthcare.

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