Messages to doctors and nurses

We asked young people and some parents to give advice to doctors and nurses about how to make things better for those living with arthritis. This is what they had to say:
• Talk to us, not just our parents. 
• Take what we have to say seriously. We know how we feel better than anyone else. 
• We are people, not “textbooks”, “bodies” or “diseases”. 
• Be relaxed and friendly. Smile and have a good sense of humour. 
• It is difficult opening up to a stranger. Get to know us and ask about our lives. 
• Include us in decisions about our treatment. 
• We are sometimes shy. Encourage us to ask questions. 
• We are sometimes scared. Reassure us and tell us what can be done to help. 
• Arthritis can affect us emotionally. Recognise this and find us help if we need it. 
• Time is one of the most important things you can offer us. Try not to rush us out the door. 
• Tell us everything we need to know about our condition. 
• Use language which the person sat in front you will understand. Do not oversimplify or overcomplicate things.
What parents had to say about doctors and nurses caring for their children
• Some parents are worried and want to know if they are doing the right thing. It would help if doctors and nurses reassure parents.
• Be patient with parents and take your time explaining things to them such as how medications work and their side effects.
• GPs need to learn more about arthritis in young people so they can recognise the signs. GPs who are knowledgeable about arthritis “are worth their weight in gold”.
• Listen to parents. They know their children better than anyone else so include them in discussions about treatment.
• Speak to the young person not just the parents.
• Avoid being condescending when speaking to young people. They know how they feel and how medication affects them.

Last reviewed November 2018.

Donate to


Please use the form below to tell us what you think of the site. We’d love to hear about how we’ve helped you, how we could improve or if you have found something that’s broken on the site. We are a small team but will try to reply as quickly as possible.

Please note that we are unable to accept article submissions or offer medical advice. If you are affected by any of the issues covered on this website and need to talk to someone in confidence, please contact The Samaritans or your Doctor.

Make a Donation to

Find out more about how you can help us.

Send to a friend

Simply fill out this form and we'll send them an email