Perceptions and behaviours related to COVID-19 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional study

Takahiro Itaya, Mie Torii, Motomu Hashimoto, Kazuaki Jindai, Wataru Yamamoto, Kyosuke Tanigawa, Yuki Urai, Ayae Kinoshita, Kazuko Nin, Ryu Watanabe, Koichi Murata, Kosaku Murakami, Masao Tanaka, Hiromu Ito, Shuichi Matsuda, Akio Morinobu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To study the perceptions and behavioural changes related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and determine their associations with patient characteristics, such as health literacy. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from September to November of 2020 and included 400 outpatients with RA aged 18 and above. We measured self-reported perceptions as outcomes, such as awareness, knowledge and behaviours related to COVID-19. Health literacy and other characteristics as exposures were investigated using self-report questionnaires and electronic health records. To analyse the association between patient factors and the outcomes, multivariable linear and logistic regression models were performed. Results: In total, 365 patients completed the survey. More than half (51%) of patients reported that they were ‘very worried’ about possible infection with COVID-19, whereas over 80% believed the possibility of getting COVID-19 was low. In the multivariable analyses, patients with low health literacy had limited knowledge about COVID-19 and did not change daily routines and perform preventive measures. Conclusions: In this pandemic, healthcare providers may need to be aware of more vulnerable individuals and share COVID-19 related information promptly and effectively with their patients.Key Points• This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the perceptions and behavioural changes related to COVID-19 in patients with RA.• All patients were aware of COVID-19 and most of them worried about getting infected.• Health literacy, age, sex, disease activity and rheumatic drugs were associated with perceptions and behaviours related to COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Health knowledge
  • Health literacy
  • KURAMA cohort
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • attitudes
  • practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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