The Effectiveness of Nurse-led Case Management for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Taiwan

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International Journal Of Clinical Practice

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Background: Case management is a patient‐centred approach which has shown efficacy in managing patients with chronic and life‐threatening disease. Presently, the effect of case management delivered by nurses for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients remains unclear, especially for those subjects who reside in Asia. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of nurse‐led case management (NLCM) among RA patients in Taiwan.

Methods: A quasi‐experimental research design was utilised to recruit RA patients from a hospital in Taiwan. All patients who were diagnosed as having RA from January 2017 to June 2018 were free to opt to participate in the intervention. The experiment group (n = 50) received six sessions of NLCM over six months, while the control group (n = 46) received only standard care during the same time period. Effectiveness data were collected through the review of medical records and a structured questionnaire that included the Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire (TDQ), the arthritis self‐efficacy scale and a disease activity score by 28 joints (DAS28) at three time points (T1: before NLCM; T2: three days after NLCM completion; and T3: six months after NLCM completion). The effects of NLCM were determined using a generalised estimating equations model.

Results: After adjusting for several potential confounders, we found that the NLCM implementation decreased the levels of DAS28 (T1 = −0.78; T2 = −0.85; all at P = .01) and TDQ (T1 = −3.86; T2 = −10.57; all at P < .05) and enhanced ASES level for RA patients (T1 = 132.03; T2 = 484.69; all at P < .05).


This study adopted a non‐randomised, unblinded and uncontrolled intervention, and the findings supported the positive effects of NLCM following the use of a robust statistical method. The findings may serve as a reference for instituting more appropriate interventions for RA patients.


© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd



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