Use of Low-Literacy Decision Aid to Enhance Knowledge and Reduce Decisional Conflict Among a Diverse Population of Adults With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results of a Pilot Study
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OBJECTIVE: Despite innovations in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), adherence is poor and disparities persist. Shared decision making (SDM) promotes patient engagement and enhances adherence; however, few tools support SDM in RA. Our objective was to pilot a low-literacy medication guide and decision aid to facilitate patient-clinician conversations about RA medications. METHODS: RA patients were consecutively enrolled into 1 of 3 arms: 1) control; patients received existing medication guide prior to clinic visit, 2) adapted guide prior to visit, and 3) adapted guide prior to plus decision aid during visit. Outcomes were collected immediately postvisit, at 1-week, and at 3- and 6-month interviews. Eligible adults had to have failed at least 1 disease-modifying antirheumatic drug and fulfill 1 of the following: age >65 years, immigrant, non-English speaker, less than high school education, limited health literacy, and racial/ethnic minority. Primary outcomes were knowledge of RA medications, decisional conflict, and acceptability of interventions. RESULTS: The majority of 166 patients were immigrants (66%), non-English speakers (54%), and had limited health literacy (71%). Adequate RA knowledge postvisit in arm 3 was higher (78%) than arm 1 (53%; adjusted odds ratio 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.2, 6.1). Among patients with a medication change, there was lower (better) mean decisional conflict in arms 2 and 3 (P = 0.03). There were no significant differences in acceptability. CONCLUSION: A low-literacy medication guide and decision aid was acceptable, improved knowledge, and reduced decisional conflict among vulnerable RA patients. Enhancing knowledge and patient engagement with decision support tools may lead to medication choices better aligned with RA patients' values and preferences.
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