Providing appropriate rheumatoid arthritis care to First Nations populations



Scientific Study Title: Indigenous Patient Preferences for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pharmacotherapy

Principal Investigators: 

Cheryl Barnabe, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary

Glen Hazlewood, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary

Study Start and
 End Date: 2015 – 2017


Why do this research?


Evidence based therapies are those shown to give the best results based on evidence from well-designed and conducted research. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with evidence-based therapies prevents joint damage and disability. Our prior research has shown lower rates of evidence-based rheumatoid arthritis therapies being used among Indigenous people despite the disease being more severe. It is unclear what is causing this gap. In previous studies we have done to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, healthcare providers believe that Indigenous patients have different preferences for therapy. This conflicts with the Indigenous patient’s perspective that accessing treatment is difficult due to barriers to care and a healthcare system that discriminates against them. Our objective is to show that Indigenous patients with RA are willing to accept appropriate treatment for better outcomes. If we demonstrate that Indigenous patient preferences are to receive treatment, this will suggest that the current gap in care is related to problems at the level of the healthcare providers and /or health system. Our finding will help improve patient-centred care plans that work to meet the needs of Indigenous patients to help eliminate gaps in health care.


What will be done?


We will use a type of survey, which asks and rates the relative importance of aspects of treatment relevant to an individual’s treatment decisions regarding which drugs to take. We hope to determine patient preferences for care and treatment relating to medications for people from the Indigenous community with inflammatory arthritis. This will allow physicians and patients to create care plans that are patient-centered, and eventually lead to improved arthritis outcomes.


Who is involved


People from the Indigenous community including First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations as well as those who live in rural areas.


How do people get involved?


Potential participants may be identified by clinical staff at urban and rural rheumatology clinics in southern Alberta and asked if they wish to participate in the study. A direct referral from a health care provider may be received, or participants may contact the research staff directly from poster advertising. A research staff member will then describe the study protocol, obtain informed consent, and complete the study requirements.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the study may contact:
Tessa Kleissen, Research Coordinator
Phone: 403-210-9305
Email: tmkleiss@ucalgary.ca


Who is funding the research?


This study is funded by: Arthritis Research Canada


Who is on the research team?


Research Staff:

Adalberto Loyola-Sanchez, MD, MSc, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar, Cummings School of Medicine University of Calgary, Postdoctoral Trainee, Arthritis Research Canada