|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 477-478
Response to: Impact of household dynamics and familial support in influencing beliefs toward medications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Sakir Ahmed, Arup Mahapatra, Basanta Kumar Behera, Prasanta Padhan
Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
|Date of Submission||06-Oct-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||15-Oct-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||22-Dec-2021|
Dr. Prasanta Padhan
Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar - 751 024, Odisha
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ahmed S, Mahapatra A, Behera BK, Padhan P. Response to: Impact of household dynamics and familial support in influencing beliefs toward medications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Indian J Rheumatol 2021;16:477-8
|How to cite this URL:|
Ahmed S, Mahapatra A, Behera BK, Padhan P. Response to: Impact of household dynamics and familial support in influencing beliefs toward medications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Indian J Rheumatol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 14];16:477-8. Available from: https://www.indianjrheumatol.com/text.asp?2021/16/4/477/326159
We thank Ahmad Saud for his interest in our paper on beliefs about medications among patients with very early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that had shown that most of the patients (96.8%) were indifferent despite having high concerns about the medicines in general. He presents some interesting insights regarding the social structure in India and hypotheses how this might have influenced the findings of the study. As the population dynamics of India change, the effects of the transition from joint to nuclear families may become more prominent. It will be interesting to see if beliefs toward medications change with this shift.
We agree with his observations but would like to present two clarifications. First, there is an expression that a crucial social dynamic regarding family structure had been left out in the study. However, the present study was designed to explore patients' belief and not the reasons for those beliefs. Second, the possible role of an extended family providing social support to the patients has been well-expressed. Although we agree this may be one of the factors influencing patients' beliefs, we are of the opinion that this is not the only possible explanation.
A dominant character in the behavior of Indians is the effect of religion and various religious beliefs. The presence of religious beliefs alters behavioral patterns across socio-cultural groups including age, education, and country of origin. This may provide an alternate explanation wherein a majority of patients attribute disease as originating from a supernatural power, and thus, are indifferent to how they are being cured. This may be more relevant in the context of chronic disease, as well as for arthritis. As indirect evidence supporting this, 41.2% of the patients had visited a complementary and alternative medicine practitioner before visiting a practicing rheumatologist.
Another explanation may be that Indian patients with RA may tend to repress their pain and physical disability, as these are the considered signs of weakness. This repression may be generalized to all aspects of the disease including medications. Thus, to study the causes behind the attitude of Indian patients with RA may require extensive work including preliminary qualitative studies. It should also be kept in mind that, as mentioned in our manuscript, these were only behaviors in patients early on in the course of their disease. As they understand the disease and the drugs better, their beliefs might change over time.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Saud, Ahmad. Impact of Household Dynamics and Familial Support in Influencing Beliefs Towards Medications in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Indian J Rheumatol 2020: DOI 10.4103/injr.injr_244_20.
Ahmed S, Mahapatra A, Behera BK, Padhan P. Beliefs and outlook toward medications in Indian patients with very early rheumatoid arthritis: Cross sectional survey. Indian J Rheumatol 2020;15:298-303. [Full text]
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