Quality statement 4: Education and self-management

Quality statement

People with rheumatoid arthritis are offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

Rationale

It is important to improve patients' understanding of rheumatoid arthritis and its management through educational activities and self-management programmes to enable them to get the best from their medication, learn how to better manage disease flares, pain and fatigue, and improve their overall quality of life. It is essential that the offer of educational and self-management activities is not a 'one-off', but is repeated throughout the course of the disease to ensure that people with rheumatoid arthritis have the opportunity to participate at a time, individual to them, that will support them to derive the greatest benefit.

Quality measure

Structure: Evidence of local arrangements for people with rheumatoid arthritis to be offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

Process: Proportion of people with rheumatoid arthritis who are offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

Numerator – the number of people in the denominator who are offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

Denominator – the number of people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Outcome: Patient experience.

What the quality statement means for each audience

Service providers ensure systems are in place for people with rheumatoid arthritis to be offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

Healthcare professionals ensure that people with rheumatoid arthritis are offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

Commissioners ensure they commission services that enable people with rheumatoid arthritis to be offered educational and self-management activities within 1 month of diagnosis.

People with rheumatoid arthritis are offered educational activities and self-management programmes within 1 month of diagnosis.

Source guidance

NICE clinical guideline 79 recommendation 1.2.1.3.

Data source

Structure: Local data collection.

Process: Local data collection. Contained within the British Society for Rheumatology National clinical audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis.

Outcome: Local data collection.

Definitions

Timeframe derived from expert consensus.

Educational activities and self-management programmes can be provided 1-to-1, through self-study or computer-based interventions or in formal organised group sessions led by rheumatology healthcare professionals or trained lay leaders with arthritis or other chronic conditions. Different formats may be used, and should include patient information supported by written resources, to improve understanding of the condition and its management, and counter any misconceptions people with rheumatoid arthritis may have. They may take an educational approach such as lecture or facilitated interactive group discussion sessions to increase knowledge and reduce concerns; or a behavioural approach, including regular skills practice, goal setting and use of home programmes to facilitate behavioural change.

Further support can be provided for people with rheumatoid arthritis by voluntary organisations such as support groups and charitable organisations, and it may be useful to provide sign-posting information at this point to ensure people know how to access further support once they have been diagnosed.

The opportunity to take part in existing educational activities and self-management programmes should be offered to people with rheumatoid arthritis throughout the course of their disease on an ongoing basis.