Management of gout from the patient perspective

Scientific Study Title:  How patients with gout become engaged in disease management: a constructivist grounded theory study

Principal Investigator:

Mary De Vera, PhD

Arthritis Research Canada

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC

Study Start Date: 


Study End Date:


What were the key findings?

Our research is the first to explore how individuals with gout experience disease management in a Canadian setting. In our interviews, participants living with gout described the process of managing gout, which was presented as three related themes. One of the themes described how individuals ‘process the diagnosis and management of gout’ and included finding ways to adapt to having gout (e.g., dietary changes). The two remaining themes described factors that either support (e.g., being organized) or interfere (e.g., fear of side-effects) with managing their gout. This information can be used to adapt ways of delivering care and thereby improve health outcomes in gout.


What was done?

Although effective medication is available for gout, studies often report poor health outcomes and suboptimal care. In an effort to improve gout care, we did one-on-one interviews with individuals with gout to understand their experience managing gout. Interview transcripts were then transcribed and were analyzed to identify common themes among interview participants.


Who was involved?

Twelve persons with gout (10 males; 2 females) completed the interviews. Participants were recruited from the Virtual Gout Clinic – a collaborative care model for gout involving rheumatology, pharmacy and dietetics, and supported by shared access to electronic medical records. To be eligible for interviews, participants had to be able to provide informed consent, have access to a phone, and be able to comprehend and speak English. In addition, eligible participants were those who had completed a minimum of 6 months of follow-up in the Virtual Gout Clinic with at least one pharmacist and one dietitian consult.


Published Article:

Howren A, Cox S, Shojania K, Rai SK, Choi HK, De Vera MA. (2018). How patients with gout become engaged in disease management: A constructivist grounded theory study. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 20: 110.


Funding Agency: 

  • Operating grant from the Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care
  • “PRECISION: Preventing Complications from Inflammatory Skin, Joint and Bowel Conditions” from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Program (Alyssa Howren)