Patient Goals for Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Qualitative Study

Melanie J. Cozad, Lisa C. Lindley, Kaitlyn Crosby, Noor Alshareef, Ann Blair Kennedy, Gulzar Merchant, Pam Evans, Ronnie D. Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rheumatoid arthritis is highly individualized in terms of its flare ups and periods of remission. Each patient’s unique experience requires a high level of personalization in terms of treatment making it necessary to understand what their goals for living are. This study explores patient perceptions on how the burden of RA shapes patients’ goals for living and their preferences for symptom and side-effect management within the United States. Fifteen patients diagnosed with RA with varying lengths of diagnosis were interviewed. A thematic analysis was conducted to construct a conceptual framework. Emerging themes identified disease burdens as: (1) inability to perform essential needs, (2) negative feelings about disease, and (3) its influence on relationships. These burdens shaped desired goals for living which guided the symptom and side-effect priorities the patient wanted managed. Practitioners should consider patient goals and preferences in conjunction with disease progression when engaging in treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • clinical management
  • patient-reported goals
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • symptom and side-effect preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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