Co-Design of a Disease Activity Based Self-Management Approach for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Marieke J. Spijk-de Jonge*, Sofie H.M. Manders, Anita M.P. Huis, Glyn Elwyn, Mart A.F.J. van de Laar, Piet L.C.M. van Riel, Marlies E.J.L. Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The systematic development of an intervention to improve disease activity-based management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in daily clinical practice that is based on patient-level barriers. Methods: The self-management strategy was developed through a step-wise approach, in a process of co-design with all stakeholders and by addressing patient level barriers to RA management based on disease activity. Results: The resulting DAS-pass strategy consists of decision supportive information and guidance by a specialised rheumatology nurse. It aims to increase patients’ knowledge on DAS28, to empower patients to be involved in disease management, and to improve patients’ medication beliefs. The decision supportive information includes an informational leaflet and a patient held record. The nurse individualises the information, stimulates patients to communicate about disease activity, and offers the opportunity for questions or additional support. Conclusion: The DAS-pass strategy was found helpful by stakeholders. It can be used to improve RA daily clinical practice. Our systematic approach can be used to improve patient knowledge and self-management on other RA related topics. Also, it can be used to improve the management of other chronic conditions. We therefore provide a detailed description of our methodology to assist those interested in developing an evidence-based strategy for educating and empowering patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalMediterranean Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


  • DAS28
  • patient education
  • patient empowerment
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • tight control
  • treat-to-target


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