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Program Highlights Importance of Patient Perspective in Hispanic Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

“We realize, looking at the literature and also our clinical experience, that there are significant health disparities that are well documented in literature in Latinx and Hispanic rheumatoid arthritis patients, including perceptions of increased pain, fatigue, higher risk for depression, and a history of other self-help and self-management programs,” Adena Batterman, MSW, LCSW, explained.

Rheumatology Network interviewed Adena Batterman, MSW, LCSW, to discuss her study “Patient Perspective of Unique Support and Education Needs of Latinx/Latino(a)/Hispanic Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Implications for a Culturally Tailored and Disease Specific Intervention,” presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2022. Batterman is Senior Manager of Inflammatory Arthritis Support and Education Programs at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Batterman and her team are in the process of developing a support and education program aimed to address health disparities for Latinx and Hispanic patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

“We realize, looking at the literature and also our clinical experience, that there are significant health disparities that are well documented in literature in Latinx and Hispanic RA patients, including perceptions of increased pain, fatigue, higher risk for depression, and a history of other self-help and self-management programs,” Batterman. “Making these adaptations to take into consideration cultural differences and cultural influences and how people look at illness, how people look at medications, how they get their information, where they get their information, and a whole host of issues that influence how people manage their illness including how well they manage their illness, and relationships with health care providers and facility organizations.”

Much of the current research conducted in recent years shows a trend towards patient reported outcomes and patient perspectives. Batterman explained, “Patient perspective is an important part of understanding what the patient experiences. We know that patients are experts. I think it really honors that patients are experts in their own experience and without that voice without understanding what their perspective is we're really not hitting the mark in how we're looking at symptoms, understanding symptoms, and understanding how best to treat and partner with our patients. Getting that information is instrumental to how we look at illness and how we look at treatment, and also how we look at partnering with our patients.”