The relationship between patients with rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatologist during the Covid-19 pandemic. An exploratory research on social representation and on the role of trust

Author/s Elisa Colì, Giada Pavanello, Rino Falcone
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/1 Language Italian
Pages 24 P. 137-160 File size 341 KB
DOI 10.3280/PDS2022-001008
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The study investigated the relationship between patients with rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatologist during the Covid-19 pandemic, with particular attention to the social represen-tation of this relationship, the trust placed in one’s rheumatologist, and the changes introduced by the pandemic. The research, carried out with an ad hoc questionnaire administered online, involved 135 people with rheumatoid arthritis (age M = 49). The results show that the social representation of the medical-patient relationship is struc-tured around the willingness of the rheumatologist and the trust placed in him, elements that make up the central core of the representation. Aspects such as competence and professional-ism seem to play a marginal role in this particular period and are located in the distant periphery. Overall, trust, which plays a leading role in adherence to medical care, seems to be based on skills relating to patient engagement and willingness to refer to other specialists. During the pandemic, just over half of the sample recorded an increase in trust towards the rheumatolo-gist. This event seems to have strengthened trust existing relationships and eroded already pre-carious trust relationships. The maintenance of the status quo in terms of frequency of contacts with one’s rheumatologist and terms of access to rheumatological visits, as well as the percep-tion of the greater willingness of one’s rheumatologist and the improvement in one’s commu-nication and relational skills, would have contributed to increasing trust in their doctor.

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, patient-rheumatologist relationship, trust in the rheumatolo-gist, social representation, Covid-19 pandemic.

Elisa Colì, Giada Pavanello, Rino Falcone, La relazione tra paziente con artrite reumatoide e reumatologo durante la pandemia da Covid-19. Una ricerca esplorativa su rappresentazione sociale e ruolo della fiducia in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 1/2022, pp 137-160, DOI: 10.3280/PDS2022-001008