Better outcomes for patients with gout

Richard Day*, Amy Nguyen, Garry Graham, Eindra Aung, Mathew Coleshill, Sophie Stocker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gout is increasing in prevalence despite effective pharmacotherapies. Barriers to effective management are largely educational deficiencies. Sufferers, usually men, need to understand more about gout, especially that maintaining serum urate below 0.36 mmol/L will eliminate recurrent attacks. Also, of great importance is appreciating that sub-optimal adherence to urate-lowering therapy (ULT) will result in a return of attacks. Prescribers also need to understand that acute attacks are likely to occur in the first few months of urate-lowering therapy (ULT), but these can be mitigated by commencing with a dose of ULT reflective of renal function and escalating the dose slowly, every 2–5 weeks until target serum urate is achieved. Prophylaxis against acute attacks over the initial 6 months period of ULT can be enhanced further with concomitant colchicine or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Gout is largely managed in primary care. Rates of adherence to ULT are 50% or less, worse than most other chronic illnesses. Efforts at educating primary care physicians to, firstly, manage gout effectively and, secondly, to educate their gout patients sufficiently have not been successful. Allied health practitioners, such as nurses, working with prescribers in primary care settings and given the mandate to educate and manage patients with gout, have been spectacularly effective. However, this approach is resource intensive. ‘Personalised’ eHealth interventions show promise as an alternative strategy, notably in improving adherence to ULT. Numerous applications for smart phones (apps) are now available to assist people with chronic health conditions. Their design needs to accommodate the barriers and enablers perceived by patients to maintaining adherence to prescribed therapies. Personalised feedback of serum urate may represent an important enabler of adherence to ULT in the case of gout. Harnessing mobile apps to support patients managing their chronic illnesses represents an important opportunity to enhance health outcomes. Rigorous, patient-centred and driven development is critical. These tools also require careful evaluation for effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1395-1400
Number of pages6
JournalInflammopharmacology
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Adherence
  • Allopurinol
  • Barriers
  • Dose–response
  • Enablers
  • Gout

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