Barriers and facilitators for screening and treatment of hyperlipidemia among patients with inflammatory arthritis

Academic Article


  • © 2020 The Author(s). Background: Patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA), defined as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The frequency of screening and treatment of hyperlipidemia, a modifiable CVD risk factor, is low in these patients. The reasons for low screening and treatment rates in this population are poorly understood. Our objective was to elicit the barriers and facilitators for screening and treatment of hyperlipidemia from the perspective of patients with IA. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study using focus groups of patients with IA, guided by Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory. We recruited patients with IA aged 40 years and older from a single academic center. Data were analyzed thematically. Results: We conducted three focus groups with 17 participants whose mean age was 56 (range 45-81) years; 15 were women. Four themes emerged as barriers: 1) need for more information about arthritis, prognosis, and IA medications prior to discussing additional topics like CVD risk; 2) lack of knowledge about how IA increases CVD risk; 3) lifestyle changes to reduce overall CVD risk rather than medications; and 4) the need to improve doctor-patient communication about IA, medications, and CVD risk. One theme emerged as a facilitator: 5) potential for peer coaches (patients with IA who are trained about concepts of CVD risk and IA) to help overcome barriers to screening and treatment of hyperlipidemia to lower CVD risk. Conclusion: Patients with IA identified educational needs about IA, increased CVD risk in IA and the need for improved doctor-patient communication about screening for hyperlipidemia and its treatment. Patients were receptive to working with peer coaches to facilitate achievement of these goals.
  • Published In

  • BMC Rheumatology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Navarro-Millán I; Young SR; Shurbaji S; McDavid C; Cornelius-Schecter A; Johnson B; Cherrington AL; Fraenkel L; Goodman SM; Curtis JR
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 1