Messages to health care professionals

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had important messages that they wanted to convey to doctors, nurses, and other health workers:

  • Dont neglect the special needs of young people with RA
  • Be aware of the person behind the patient and take a holistic approach to disease management
  • Remember that people are all different
  • Dont treat patients as numbers
  • Dont describe patients as rheumatoids
  • Give patients plenty of information, explaining medications and procedures about to be performed (see Finding information about RA)
  • Dont use jargon that patients dont understand
  • Listen to your patients and involve them in decisions at every stage
  • Understand that continuity of care is very important to patients with RA
  • Talk to your patients about sex after being diagnosed with RA. This is an important and much neglected subject and patients need your advice and support.

Patients should be involved in treatment decisions at every stage and continuity of care is…

Age at interview 53

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 30

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Pearl thinks that the issue of sex after being diagnosed with RA can affect relationships and…

Age at interview 60

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 40

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  • Remember that patients may forget what they have been told. It is useful to have the phone number of a nurse to call

Patients may forget what they have been told so it helps to have the phone number of a nurse to…

Age at interview 63

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 36

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  • Tender loving care is important
  • Dont be too rough when examining patients

Health workers need to be gentle and to allow plenty of time for the consultation.

Age at interview 21

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 12

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  • Dont rush the consultation – allow enough time for each patient
  • Tell patients about the social support and financial benefits that are available
  • Be truthful and tell patients that there isnt a cure for RA though much can be done to help to control the condition and make it more manageable
  • Try not to frighten them with worst case scenarios
  • If a clinic is running late give patients information and apologise for delays
  • Increase public awareness of RA and keep people informed through the media on research and developments in treatment
  • Involve patients in NHS decisions on how services are provided

Messages to others with RA

People offered many different kinds of advice to others with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), based on their experiences at different stages of their illness. People are...

Finding information about RA

People who had had RA for many years often noted that in recent years information has become much more accessible and that doctors seem more...