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Rheumatologists’ beliefs about medication barely differ from patients’ medication beliefs.

Zwikker, H., Lesuis, N., Broeder, A. den, Ende, C. van den, Horne, R., Dulmen, S. van, Bemt, B. van den. Rheumatologists’ beliefs about medication barely differ from patients’ medication beliefs. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare: 2017, 5(3), 308-314
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Rationale, aims and objectives
Studies suggest that both healthcare providers’ and patients’ beliefs about medication influence medication adherence. This study aims to describe and compare rheumatologists’ and patients’ beliefs about medication.

Method
Data were collected in a specialized rheumatology clinic in The Netherlands. An adapted version of the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) was used to measure beliefs about medication in rheumatologists. (Dichotomized) scores on the BMQ of rheumatologists were compared to rheumatology patients’ scores on the BMQ, using t-tests and two-group tests of proportions with 95% confidence intervals.

Results
Twenty-seven (96% of the eligible) rheumatologists (mean age 42 years, 63% female) and 580 (71% of the eligible) rheumatology patients (mean age 63 years, 68% female) were included. Generally, beliefs about medication did not differ between rheumatologists and patients. Both groups strongly perceived the need to take prescribed medication, but also had significant concerns about the long-term effects of the medication (63% of rheumatologists and 68% of patients expressed concerns). Some differences in beliefs were also present: Fewer rheumatologists worried about the fact that patients have to take medicines (15% versus 44%, respectively) and about the possibility that patients become too dependent on the medicines (15% versus 30%, respectively).

Conclusions
This study indicates that, in general terms, rheumatologists’ beliefs about medication barely differ from those of patients. However, in some respects, patients do have stronger concerns about medication than rheumatologists. Future research should focus on the interplay between rheumatologists’ and patients’ beliefs about medication and its impact on medication adherence.