Are Health Care Professionals' Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Toward Conventional Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs Associated With Those of Their Patients?

M. van Heuckelum*, R.C.F. Hebing, L. Vandeberg, A.J. Linn, M. Flendrie, M.T. Nurmohamed, S. van Dulmen, C.H.M. van den Ende, B.J.F. van den Bemt

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective It is generally unknown how the attitudes and beliefs of health care professionals (HCPs) might affect the attitudes, beliefs, and medication-taking behavior of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims 1) to examine the attitudes, health-related associations (both implicit and explicit), and beliefs of HCPs about conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and 2) to assess whether these attitudes, health-related associations, and beliefs of HCPs are associated with those of their patients, with their patients' medication-taking behavior, and disease activity.Methods HCPs were recruited from 2 centers that specialized in rheumatology across The Netherlands, and patient recruitment followed. In this observational study, implicit outcomes were measured with single-category implicit association tests, whereas explicit outcomes were measured with a bipolar evaluative adjective scale and the Beliefs About Medicines Questionnaire-Specific. Spearman's rank correlations were used to describe correlations between implicit and explicit measures of the attitudes of HCPs. Multilevel, mixed-effects linear models were used to examine the association of HCP-related characteristics, including the implicit and explicit outcomes of HCPs, with those of their patients, their medication-taking behaviors, and disease activity.Results Of the 1,659 initially invited patients, 254 patients with RA (mean age 62.8 years, mean disease duration 11.8 years, and 68.1% of the patients were female) who were treated by 26 different HCPs agreed to participate in this study. The characteristics, attitudes, health-related associations, and beliefs about medicines of HCPs were not significantly associated with those of their patients, nor with their medication-taking behaviors or disease activity scores.Conclusion This study demonstrated that the attitudes, health-related associations (as measured both implicitly and explicitly), and beliefs of HCPs were not significantly associated with the attitudes, beliefs, medication-taking behavior, and disease activity of patients with RA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-373
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


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