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Survey of a community-based infusion program for Australian patients with rheumatoid arthritis requiring treatment with tocilizumab: patient characteristics and drivers of patient satisfaction and patient-perceived benefits and concerns

Authors Voight L

Received 11 January 2012

Accepted for publication 28 February 2012

Published 10 April 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 275—283


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Louisa Voight

Coast Joint Care, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia

Background: Tocilizumab is an effective therapy for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis that is administered by infusion over one hour every 4 weeks. The community-based infusion (ACTiv) program was introduced to Australia in August 2010 to provide accessible and convenient treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis who require tocilizumab. The primary objectives of this study were to determine the characteristics of patients in the ACTiv program, patient satisfaction, and patient-perceived benefits and concerns with the ACTiv program, and drivers of patient satisfaction and patient-perceived benefits and concerns.
Methods: A voluntary self-administered survey was given to all 608 patients in the ACTiv program between January 27, 2011 and March 31, 2011.
Results: A total of 351 surveys were returned completed, giving a response rate of 58% (351/608). Most patients in the ACTiv program were women aged 40–64 years, with a mean disease duration of 13.7 years and moderate disability, who had been in the ACTiv program for ≥5 months. Most patients (88%, 302/342) were either very satisfied or satisfied with the ACTiv program and believed that they were very unlikely or somewhat unlikely to switch from the ACTiv program (64%, 214/335). The most important benefit was the reassurance of receiving treatment from a trained nurse in a professional medical environment (33%, 102/309). The most important concern was the fear of side effects (48%, 134/280). The main drivers of patient satisfaction and patient-perceived benefits and concerns of patients were health profile, previous medication experience, and length of treatment time in the program.
Conclusion: The ACTiv program is used by patients of various ages, family life situations, and locations. Patient satisfaction with the program is high, which enables patients to benefit from long-term use of tocilizumab.

Keywords: arthritis, rheumatoid, infusions, intravenous, patient satisfaction, survey, health, tocilizumab

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