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The Results Are In: People Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Are More Satisfied With Their Doctors When They Feel Heard and Understood

Posted on March 18, 2020

We recently asked 374 members of myRAteam about their relationship and satisfaction with the rheumatologist or doctor who treats their rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, 57 percent are generally satisfied with their doctor, but 43 percent are not.

There is a high correlation between treatment satisfaction and doctor satisfaction. If your treatment isn’t working to control your RA, it’s unlikely you’ll be satisfied with your doctor. But treatment effectiveness isn’t the only driver. It’s clear that people who are generally satisfied with their doctors feel heard by — and have broader conversations with — their doctors than those who are generally dissatisfied with their doctors.

Here are some discoveries from the survey:

  • Of those of you who report being generally satisfied, 87 percent say that your doctor listens to you and understands your needs. Only 24 percent who report being generally dissatisfied agree with that statement.
  • Similarly, 81 percent of you who are satisfied believe your doctor spends enough time with you. Only 26 percent who are dissatisfied say the same.
  • This satisfaction gap is also reflected in whether your doctor addresses the broader impact of your disease, including dealing with pain or depression, discussing the side effects of treatment, or developing a long-term plan.

It’s clear from the survey that living with RA takes a toll on quality of life, from making it hard to sleep at night to the challenges of getting through the day at work and home.

As promised, we’re sharing the results of our survey with you, the members of myRAteam. Review the slideshow below to see more about what other people with RA are experiencing. Please post your questions and share your tips for dealing with some of these challenges. As always, we welcome your feedback, questions, and comments.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

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