To assess disease-related knowledge of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients
Patients and methods
Consecutive RA patients were invited from the rheumatology departments of BSMM University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Bangla version of the Patient Knowledge Questionnaire (B-PKQ) was used. Correlations between the B-PKQ scores and clinical-demographic data were measured using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Impact of independent variables on the level of knowledge about RA was analyzed through multiple regression analysis. Possible explanatory variables included the following: age, disease duration, formal education level, and Bangla Health Assessment Questionnaire (B-HAQ) score. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the difference between demographical, clinical, and socioeconomic variables. For statistical analysis, SPSS statistics version 20 was used.
A total of 168 RA patients could be included. The mean B-PKQ score was 9.84 (range 1–20) from a possible maximum of 30. The mean time for answering the questionnaire was 24.3 min (range 15–34). Low scores were observed in all domains but the lowest were in medications and joint protection/energy conservation. Knowledge level was higher (15.5) in 6 patients who had RA education before enrollment. B-PKQ showed positive correlation with education level (r = 0.338) and negative correlation with HAQ (r = −0.169). The B-PKQ showed no correlation with age, disease duration, having first degree family member with RA, education from other sources (neighbor, RA patient, nurses), or information from mass media.
Disease-related knowledge of Bangladeshi RA patients was poor in all domains. Using these findings, improved education and knowledge will result in better disease control.