Provider perceptions on the management of lupus during pregnancy: barriers to improved care.
BACKGROUND: More than half of pregnancies in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) result in adverse outcomes for the mother or the fetus. We sought to identify aspects of current rheumatologic care that could be improved to decrease the frequency of poor outcomes. METHODS: Focus groups with clinical rheumatologists, based on the PRECEDE/PROCEED framework, identified factors that influenced care. A group of women with lupus on their reproductive journey contributed to our understanding of the dilemmas and care provided. RESULTS: Medically ill-timed pregnancies and medication non-adherence during pregnancy were identified by rheumatologists as the two key dilemmas in care. We identified several communication gaps as key modifiable barriers to optimal management. The approach to physician-patient communication was often unsuitable to sensitive discussions about pregnancy planning. The communication of treatment plans was frequently hampered by gaps in knowledge and both physician and patient confidence in the data, encouraging non-adherence among nervous patients. Finally, local rheumatologists and obstetricians/gynecologists providers frequently did not communicate, leading to varying treatment plans and confusion for patients. CONCLUSIONS: To decrease the frequency of ill-timed pregnancy and medication non-adherence it will be essential to empower rheumatologists, and women with lupus to have open and accurate conversations about pregnancy planning and management.
Clowse, MEB; Eudy, AM; Revels, J; Neil, L; Sanders, GD
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