Services for people with ankylosing spondylitis in the UK--a survey of rheumatologists and patients

Hamilton, Louise, Gilbert, Annie, Skerrett, Jane, Dickinson, Sally and Gaffney, Karl ORCID: (2011) Services for people with ankylosing spondylitis in the UK--a survey of rheumatologists and patients. Rheumatology, 50 (11). pp. 1991-1998. ISSN 1462-0324

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OBJECTIVE: . To investigate the services offered to patients with AS in the UK in 2010. METHODS: Two thousand non-health-care professional members of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) were sent a questionnaire asking about their experiences surrounding diagnosis, treatment and access to therapies (response rate 40%). A separate questionnaire was sent to a consultant rheumatologist in every acute NHS trust in the UK, asking about services offered to patients with AS (response rate 68%). RESULTS: Overall, there was a mean diagnostic delay of 8.57 years. Almost one-third (32.2%) of patients were not reviewed in secondary care. Non-attendance was associated with increasing age and longer disease duration. Twenty per cent of patients were taking anti-TNF drugs, but 18.8% of departments reported that their ability to give anti-TNF therapy was restricted (64% reported primary-care trust rationing and 14% lack of staff). Almost all rheumatology departments had access to MRI, but 70.9% still used X-ray radiographs as their first-line investigation. A minority (5.6%) of patients reported they had never seen a physiotherapist, but less than one-third could self-refer for treatment during a flare. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to explore the services available to people with AS in the UK. Almost one-third of patients are not seen in rheumatology departments and therefore may be under-treated. For those who are seen, access to anti-TNF drugs and other therapies remains an issue.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adult,early diagnosis,female,health services accessibility,health surveys,humans,male,middle aged,practice guidelines as topic,quality of health care,psychology,diagnosis,united kingdom,young adult
Faculty \ School:
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2020 00:01
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 06:39
DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/ker013

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