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Arthritis Consumer Experts gets things done in Ottawa

Parliament Buildings in OttawaWe had a busy, busy week at the 2013 Canadian Rheumatology Association’s Annual Scientific Meeting. The event, held in Ottawa this year, was an opportunity for representatives of the Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) team to learn about the latest in arthritis research, treatment and care.

We attended lectures and workshops on:

  • The presence of osteoarthritis (OA) in symptom-free knees
  • New diagnostic criteria for spondylitis, which newly includes individuals without x-ray changes
  • How the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome has been updated to include co-occurring conditions
  • The safety and effectiveness of biologics for many conditions and that they are generally being underutilized
  • Vaccination strategies in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • The pertinence of opioids and cannabinoids for rheumatology patients in a lecture titled, “A botanical exploration: the poppy and the hemp”.
  • Strategies for caring for the elderly who have rheumatoid arthritis

Consumer booth in OttawaBesides learning all we could on arthritis research, we were there to interview rheumatologists, clinical researchers, the arthritis community, and people on the streets of Ottawa on video for the Arthritis Broadcast Network (ABN).

Our interviews included:

  • Rheumatologists giving their views on the expanding role of pharmacists and how that will affect the future of arthritis healthcare, about the unique challenges facing women, and about the value they get from the CRA annual scientific meeting.
  • Researchers telling us about their studies
  • Arthritis consumers sharing their perspective
  • From the people on the street, we asked if they had heard of arthritis and what they understood it to be.

It was an excellent experience for ACE’s representatives, Victoria Kline and Johanna Kendall. We were joined by Nathalie Courtois, one of our ABN bloggers, and Manon Roberge, the Quebec representative of the Canadian Spondylitis Association, so that many of our interviews could be conducted in French.

Winterlude in Ottawa, along the Rideau CanalThough our schedule was jammed packed, we still managed to take the time to enjoy Winterlude on Valentine’s Day.

The first interview posted on ABN is with Dr. Carter Thorne, president of the Canadian Rheumatology Association. In it he talks about the value of the CRA Annual Scientific Meeting. Click here.

Please visit ABN often to view the interviews as they are rolled out over the coming weeks.