Need help making a decision about rheumatoid arthritis treatment? Introducing ANSWER-2! 

Principal Investigator:

Linda Li, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD
Senior Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
University of British Columbia (UBC)

Why do this research?

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) typically begin taking one or more drugs when they are first diagnosed. If symptoms do not improve, doctors may recommend a type of medication called a biologic. Often, the decision to start a biologic is not an easy one for people with RA, given that there are side effects, high costs and different ways of taking the drugs (e.g. by injection, as a pill) to consider.

In a previous study, we learned that the ANSWER decision aid was able to significantly reduce people's uncertainty in deciding whether or not to use methotrexate (the most commonly used RA drug). In this project, we will develop ANSWER-2, a decision aid for people who are considering biologics. Once the tool is developed, we will test whether ANSWER-2 is able to improve people's experiences of making this treatment decision.

When will the final results be reported?

We anticipate that development of ANSWER-2 will be completed by the end of 2013, and testing will be finished by the summer of 2014. Final results will be available by the end of 2015.

How are we conducting this study?

A decision aid is designed to help patients choosing between treatment options based on the best information available from research and their own preferences. We will develop the ANSWER-2 decision aid to include patient stories that highlight best evidence on the benefits and risks of biologics for RA treatment, as well as everyday factors that may affect a person's decision to begin a biologic. Next, we will recruit 15 people with RA to test whether the decision aid is user-friendly. Finally, we will recruit 55 people with RA who are considering or reconsidering a biologic. These participants will use the decision aid and fill out questionnaires. One month later, we will interview these 55 participants about their experiences of using ANSWER-2 and their subsequent discussion with their doctors about their preferred treatment option.

Funding Agency

This project is funded by a 12-month grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Co-investigators

Nick Bansback
Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health, UBC

Anne Townsend
PhD Research Associate, Department of Occupational Science and Therapy, UBC
Affiliate Researcher, ARC

Diane Lacaille
Associate Professor and Mary Pack Chair in Arthritis Research, Division of Rheumatology, UBC Senior Scientist, ARC

Allyson Jones
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta

Chris Shaw
Associate Professor, School of Interactive Arts & Technology, Simon Fraser University

Paul Adam
Rheumatology Liaison and Outreach Services Coordinator, Mary Pack Arthritis Centre

Sydney Lineker
Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University

Elaine Yacyshyn
Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology, University of Alberta

Collaborators

Martina Franchi
Health & Benefits Consultant, Mercer

Alison Hoens
Knowledge Broker, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC

Consumer Collaborators

Pam Montie, Consumer Advisory Board, ARC
Alison Hoens, Consumer Advisory Board, ARC
Ruta Cummings, Consumer Advisory Board, ARC
Sharan Rai, Consumer Advisory Board, ARC
Rod Brennan, Consumer Advisory Board, ARC
Cheryl Koehn, JointHealth

Research Staff

Jasmina Memetovic, Research Coordinator, ARC
Joanna Ye, Research Assistant, ARC
Jenny Leese, Research Assistant, ARC

Contact Person

To learn more, please contact Jasmina Memetovic at or 604-207-4007

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