New gout sufferers soon become aware that gout is seen by friends, family, and colleagues as some kind of music hall joke. A view that is even shared by some doctors. So would we get better treatment for `Urate Crystal Arthritis`?
Urate Crystal Arthritis Research Topics
We wait in-depth studies to evaluate improvements in treatment from changing the name of gout to urate crystal arthritis. But here are three studies that hint at the types of benefit we might expect.
Urate Crystal Arthritis Patient Perception
My first study is a questionnaire completed by 189 people. Where two groups of participants had different terms for the label and description of gouty arthritis. One group used the term “urate crystal arthritis” (UCA). But the other group used “gout” for the disease. The researchers conclude that changing the name of gout might help patients to understand and manage it better.
Petrie, K.J., MacKrill, K., Derksen, C. and Dalbeth, N., 2018. An illness by any other name: The effect of renaming gout on illness and treatment perceptions. Health Psychology, 37(1), p.37.
Gout was perceived as being more likely caused by the patient’s own behavior through poor diet and overconsumption of alcohol, while UCA was attributed to aging. The UCA-labeled illness was also viewed as a more chronic and serious condition, while the gout-labeled illness was seen as being more socially embarrassing and more under the patient’s personal control. Management for the gout-labeled illness centered on dietary interventions, while the UCA-labeled illness was perceived as requiring long-term medication.
Urate Crystal Arthritis Social Perception
In a follow-up to my first study, researchers confirm their findings. They also indicate how using the term “gout” might influence perceptions from friends, family, and employers. So changing to “urate crystal arthritis” might reduce the blame culture of gout.
Dalbeth, N., Douglas, M., MacKrill, K., Te Karu, L., Kleinstäuber, M. and Petrie, K.J., 2020. The impact of the illness label ‘gout’on illness and treatment perceptions in Māori (Indigenous New Zealanders). BMC rheumatology, 4(1), pp.1-6.
All participants believed or had been informed that gout is caused by food and/or drink, which led to feelings of self-blame and blame from partners and employers.
Urate Crystal Arthritis & Better Treatment
My final study reviews the earlier studies. Especially, considering practical ways and difficulties for establishing a name change. But recognizing the successes in other diseases. Such as changing consumption to tuberculosis. In particular, they review how the name change might lead to better ULT (Urate Lowering Therapy).
Coleshill, M.J., Aung, E., Carland, J.E., Faasse, K., Stocker, S. and Day, R.O., 2021. Rebranding Gout: Could a Name Change for Gout Improve Adherence to Urate-Lowering Therapy?. Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science, 55(1), pp.138-141.
by distancing the disease from current negative perceptions and bringing it closer to other arthritic conditions which are more accurately perceived and to which it taxonomically belongs. Coupled with an educational campaign drawing prescribers’ attention to guidelines alongside a name change, this rebranding may then benefit those living with the disease by increasing engagement with medical care and ultimately uptake of, and adherence to, guideline-recommended treatment. In this manner, changing the name of gout represents a novel method by which prescription and use of ULT may be improved.
Your Urate Crystal Arthritis Research Story
Personally, I prefer to use
uric acid arthritis as an alternate name for gout. Because I always think of
urate as a term used by physicians, not patients. But what would you call it?
Please tell me your urate crystal arthritis story in the Gout Forum.
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