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A pilot study of a nurse-led integrated care review (the INCLUDE review) for people with inflammatory rheumatological conditions in primary care: feasibility study findings.

Hider, Samantha L.; Bucknall, Milica; Jinks, Clare; Cooke, Kelly; Cooke, Kendra; Ediriweera Desilva, Erandie; Finney, Andrew G.; Healey, Emma L.; Herron, Daniel; Machin, Annabelle R.; Mallen, Christian D.; Wathall, Simon; Chew-Graham, Carolyn A.

A pilot study of a nurse-led integrated care review (the INCLUDE review) for people with inflammatory rheumatological conditions in primary care: feasibility study findings. Thumbnail


Kelly Cooke

Kendra Cooke

Erandie Ediriweera Desilva

Daniel Herron

Annabelle R. Machin


BACKGROUND: People with inflammatory rheumatological conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis are at an increased risk of common comorbidities including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and mood problems, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Identifying and treating these problems could lead to improved patient quality of life and outcomes. Despite these risks being well-established, patients currently are not systematically targeted for management interventions for these morbidities. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a nurse-led integrated care review in primary care to identify and manage these morbidities. METHODS: A pilot cluster RCT was delivered across four UK general practices. Patients with a diagnostic Read code for one of the inflammatory rheumatological conditions of interest were recruited by post. In intervention practices (n = 2), eligible patients were invited to attend the INCLUDE review. Outcome measures included health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-5L), patient activation, self-efficacy and treatment burden. A sample (n = 24) of INCLUDE review consultations were audio-recorded and assessed against a fidelity checklist. RESULTS: 453/789 (57%) patients responded to the invitation, although 114/453 (25%) were excluded as they either did not fulfil eligibility criteria or failed to provide full written consent. In the intervention practices, uptake of the INCLUDE review was high at 72%. Retention at 3 and 6?months both reached pre-specified success criteria. Participants in intervention practices had more primary care contacts than controls (mean 29 vs 22) over the 12?months, with higher prescribing of all relevant medication classes in participants in intervention practices, particularly so for osteoporosis medication (baseline 29% vs 12?month 46%). The intervention was delivered with fidelity, although potential areas for improvement were identified. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this pilot study suggest it is feasible to deliver an RCT of the nurse-led integrated care (INCLUDE) review in primary care. A significant morbidity burden was identified. Early results suggest the INCLUDE review was associated with changes in practice. Lessons have been learnt around Read codes for patient identification and refining the nurse training. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN, ISRCTN12765345.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 6, 2021
Publication Date Jan 6, 2021
Journal Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Print ISSN 2055-5784
Publisher BioMed Central
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Article Number 9
Keywords Integrated care, Multimorbidity, Comorbidity, Inflammatory rheumatological conditions, Anxiety, Depression, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis, Long-term conditions
Publisher URL
PMID 33407943


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