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“In Sickness As in Health” – A book review by Chronic Marriage

The Arthritis Broadcast Network would like to share with you below Chronic Marriage’s blog post titled “In Sickness As in Health”, where Helena shares her response to a book on navigating marriage (and life) with chronic pain.

In Sickness As in Health

Every once in a while, you stumble upon a really helpful book that you want to share with everyone.  In Sickness As In Health – Helping Couples Cope with the Complexities of Illness (Roundtree Press, 2013) byBarbara Kivowitz and Roanne Weisman is one such book.

Book Cover for In Sickness As in HealthIn Sickness As In Health is full of hope as well as lessons learned; a breath of fresh air for those of us desiring new and sound strategies for navigating marriage (and life) with chronic illness.

Co-author Barbara Kivowitz has herself lived with chronic pain since 1999 so she writes from experience and with authority.  She is also a psychotherapist, organizational consultant and advisor to several health systems.  In other words, she knows her stuff.

The book is broken down into three parts and 12 chapters:

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Better screening needed for psoriatic arthritis patients

For the first time ever, researchers have joined together to call for better screening of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) – a type of arthritis that affects millions of people worldwide.

Stick men in a circleIn a recent Psoriatic Arthritis Forum, researchers, from expert rheumatologists to dermatologists to patient representatives in Europe and North America, have made some recommendations for the treatment and diagnosis of PsA. The recommendations were published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research. According to an article on, the recommendations include:

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AS it Goes – Massage is Not Therapy

Woman enjoying massage

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Many people with arthritis use massage therapy to help alleviate their aches and pains. Massage soothes sore joints and muscles and over the long term, it may improve your range of motion, reduce stiffness and lessen the anxiety associated with living with chronic pain.

When you have ankylosing spondylitis (AS), it’s important to know—in advance—what kind of massage would suit you the best. If you are in remission, for instance, the massage can be a little more aggressive with more pressure applied to muscles. In general, it is advised that AS’ers should ask for a soft tissue massage with light kneading, vibration, and some stretching and long soothing strokes. Continue reading

Research shows arthritis medication may slow Alzheimer’s

Brain xrayA recent research from the University of Southampton shows that the arthritis medication, etanarcept (Enbrel®), may slow Alzheimer’s disease. The research was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Denmark last week.

In the small control study, a group of 41 patients exhibiting mild or moderate Alzheimer’s was given either the anti-inflammatory medication etanercept or a placebo every week over a period of six months.

Researchers monitored memory function in patients and found that the efficiency of day-to-day activities and behaviour and the symptoms of those who had taken etanercept did not get any worse. In comparison, the placebo group showed signs of decline in memory function.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, lead researcher, Professor Clive Holmes, said:

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Demande de rétroaction de patients sur le tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) dans le traitement de la polyarthrite rhumatoïde

Souffrez-vous de polyarthrite rhumatoïde ou prodiguez-vous des soins à quelqu’un qui en souffre? Vos commentaires seraient précieux.

Megaphone GraphicLe Programme commun d’évaluation des médicaments (PCEM) accueille actuellement les commentaires et suggestions des patients et des fournisseurs de soins sur la présentation par le fabricant du tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) dans le traitement de la polyarthrite rhumatoïde (PR). Le tofacitinib est un antirhumatismal modificateur de la maladie (ARMM) administré par voie orale pour lequel Santé Canada émettait un Avis de conformité le 17 avril 2014. Le tofacitinib, en association avec la méthotrexate (MTX), est indiqué pour la réduction des signes et symptômes de la PR chez les adultes atteints de PR active de modérée à grave et n’ayant pas répondu de façon adéquate à la MTX. En cas d’intolérance à la MTX, le médecin peut envisager l’utilisation du tofacitinib en monothérapie.

Le PCEM fait partie de l’Agence canadienne des médicaments et des technologies de la santé. Le PCEM examine avec objectivité et rigueur l’efficacité et la rentabilité des médicaments et fournit des recommandations aux régimes d’assurance-médicaments publics du Canada (à l’exception du Québec) quant à leur inscription sur la liste des médicaments assurés.

Afin de l’aider dans son processus de recommandation, le PCEM accepte la rétroaction de groupe de patients comme le comité ACE (Arthritis Consumer Experts). C’est dans cette optique que nous désirons recueillir vos commentaires pour communication au PCEM.

Voici l’information que recherche le PCEM dans ce dossier particulier :

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Call for patient input on tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Do you have rheumatoid arthritis or care for someone who does? We need your valuable input.

Megaphone GraphicThe Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input on the manufacturer’s submission for tofacitinib (Xeljanz®) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Tofacitinib is an oral disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) that was issued a Notice of Compliance (NOC) from Health Canada on April 17, 2014. Tofacitinib in combination with methotrexate (MTX), is indicated for reducing the signs and symptoms of RA, in adult patients with moderately to severely active RA who have had an inadequate response to MTX. In cases of intolerance to MTX, physicians may consider the use of tofacitinib as monotherapy.

The CDR is part of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs, and provides formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except Quebec). 

To help them make their recommendations, the CDR accepts input from patient groups, like Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE). We would like to gather your views and share them with the CDR.

These are the questions they are asking:

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