Living With Gout in New Zealand: An Exploratory Study Into People’s Knowledge About the Disease and Its Treatment

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BackgroundIn New Zealand, gout disproportionately affects Māori and Pacific people who also experience symptoms at an earlier age. Gout occurs predominantly in men and is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and renal disease. The impact on daily social activities, family, and work is enormous, and many people remain inadequately treated.ObjectivesThe objectives of this study were to explore the knowledge and perceptions of people with gout toward the disease and to determine the impact gout has on lifestyle including possible barriers to treatment.MethodsSixty people with gout from the Auckland and Waikato regions of New Zealand were invited to participate in 30-minute semistructured interviews. The data were analyzed using a general inductive thematic approach.ResultsAlthough 85% of participants were aware of dietary triggers of gout, these were not always avoided. Less than 50% knew something about how their medicines worked, and only 33% knew which medicines to use both acutely and chronically. The negative impact of gout episodes was noted through the number participants unable to work or participate in family activities. Healthcare professionals were not always the main source of information, which is an area that could be developed to improve knowledge about gout.ConclusionsThere were substantial gaps in the knowledge about gout and its causes and management. All healthcare providers could help identify patients with suboptimal knowledge and improve the management of gout.

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