OPEN Research Support

Jette Primdahl
Danish Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg and Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Open
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 19.05.2021  
Slut 31.08.2021  

Experiences in relation to COVID-19 vaccination among persons with inflammatory arthritis - a qualitative interview study

Short summary

An interview study on people with inflammatory arthritis about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and their self imposed and authorities social restrictions and their thoughts and expectations of the impact of the upcoming vaccination.


So far, studies have not been able to confirm that persons with rheumatic autoimmune diseases who are in treatment with conventional or biological immunosuppressive disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have an increased risk for a COVID-19 infection or mortality compared to the general population (Sanchez-Piedra et al., 2020, Pablos et al., 2020). There is limited information on whether these results are influenced by self-imposed restrictions other than the ones imposed by the authorities among persons with CIA.

A nationwide Danish study (Glintborg et al., 2021) found that among 12789 persons with chronic inflammatory arthritis (CIA) (rheumatoid arthritis (n=8168), psoriatic arthritis (n=2068) and axial spondyloarthritis (n=1758) and few with connective tissue disease), 70% were afraid to get COVID-19 and 75% thought they had high risk in March 2020. The number who considered themselves to be in high risk decreased to 63% in June 2020 (Glintborg et al., 2021). Of the 79% who were in treatment with conventional DMARDs (cDMARDs) or biological DMARDS (bDMARDs), 4 and 6% respectively reported changes in their DMARD treatment in March and primarily initiated by themselves due to their fear of contracting COVID-19 and up to 48% isolated themselves more than others their age (Glintborg et al., 2021).

We have not been able to identify any qualitative studies on how persons with IA experience the first year with COVID-19 and the social restrictions they may have imposed on themselves in addition to those from the authorities. In addition, what are their thoughts about being vaccinated against COVID-19 and how it will impact their everyday lives?


The aim of this study is to explore how persons with inflammatory arthritis experience restrictions during the first year with COVID-19 and their thoughts about how a vaccination against COVID-19 will impact on their everyday lived.

Description of the cohort

The interviews will be conducted as telephone interviews or online interviews. Purposeful sampling (Patton, 2015) is used to achieve the aim of the study. We aim to include 18-22 participants with different diagnoses, gender, age, disease duration and use of DMARDs. The final number will be decided based on reflections on the quality of the data from the conducted interviews (Malterud et al., 2016).

Data and biological material

A qualitative study using individual semi-structured interviews with inflammatory arthritis is planned to answer the aim of the study.

Collaborating researchers and departments

University College South and COPECARE, Rigshospitalet-Glostrup