Introduction: Cardiovascular risk (CVR) assessment and management in patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) is recommended but European nurses' involvement in this role has not been well studied. Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore European nurses' role in assessing and managing CVR, in order to suggest topics for practice development and research in this area regarding persons with IA. Methods: We searched Embase, Cinahl, Cochrane, PsycInfo and PubMed databases and included European articles from the past ten years if they described how nurses assess and/or manage CVR. In addition to the systematic review, we provided case studies from five different countries to illustrate national guidelines and nurses' role regarding CVR assessment and management in patients with IA. Results: Thirty-three articles were included. We found that trained nurses were undertaking CVR assessment and management in different settings and groups of patients. The assessments include blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, glucose and lipid-profile, adherence to medication and behavioural risk factors (unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking). Different tools were used to calculate patients' risk. Risk management differed from brief advice to long-term follow-up. Nurses tended to take a holistic and individually tailored approach. Clinical examples of inclusion of rheumatology nurses in these tasks were scarce. Conclusion: Nurses undertake CVR assessment, communication and management in different types of patients. This is considered to be a highly relevant task for rheumatology nursing, especially in patients with IA. Further studies are needed to assess patients' perspective, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of nurse-led CVR.
- Inflammatory arthritis
- cardiovascular risk