Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

What is the impact of giant cell arteritis on patients’ lives?: A UK qualitative study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jenny Liddle



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Objectives Clinical management of giant cell arteritis (GCA) involves balancing the risks and burdens arising from the disease with those arising from treatment, but there is little research on the nature of those burdens. We aimed to explore the impact of giant cell arteritis (GCA) and its treatment on patients’ lives.Methods UK patients with GCA participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Inductive thematic analysis was employed.Results 24 participants were recruited (age: 65–92 years, time since diagnosis: 2 months to >6 years). The overarching themes from analysis were: ongoing symptoms of the disease and its treatment; and ‘life-changing’ impacts. The overall impact of GCA on patients’ lives arose from a changing combination of symptoms, side effects, adaptations to everyday life and impacts on sense of normality. Important factors contributing to loss of normality were glucocorticoid-related treatment burdens and fear about possible future loss of vision.Conclusions The impact of GCA in patients’ everyday lives can be substantial, multifaceted and ongoing despite apparent control of disease activity. The findings of this study will help doctors better understand patient priorities, legitimise patients’ experiences of GCA and work with patients to set realistic treatment goals and plan adaptations to their everyday lives.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Liddle J, Bartlam R, Mallen CD, Mackie SL, Prior JA, Helliwell T, Richardson JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Print publication date: 01/08/2017

Online publication date: 23/08/2017

Acceptance date: 16/06/2017

Date deposited: 12/09/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: B M J Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017073


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name