Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are important musculoskeletal diseases that the EUMUSC.NET project developed Standards of Care (SOC) for.
Objective The purpose was to explore factors to enable successful implementation of the SOC for RA and OA.
Methods A combined set of methods was used; a literature search, a European survey among patients, clinicians and policymakers; and focus groups.
Results Potential facilitators were identified during a literature search. The online survey captured 282 responses from clinicians, patients and policymakers from 35 European countries, and focus groups from 5 countries contributed with knowledge about possible additional facilitators and strategies. Both the survey and the focus groups endorsed all 11 facilitators. The most important facilitators for implementing the SOC were motivation, agreement, knowledge and personal attitude. The focus groups underlined the lack of access to recommended care in some countries, that multidisciplinary teams should be strengthened and that some healthcare reimbursement systems need change to implement recommended clinical practice.
Conclusion Eleven facilitators key for the implementation of the SOC for RA and OA were endorsed by patients and clinicians from 35 European countries. This knowledge may contribute to improved care for patients with RA and OA in Europe.
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