Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) releases a special edition of JointHealth™ insight for Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada: “Where is arthritis? – Everywhere.” Arthritis is everywhere and can affect patients’ jobs, financial resources, academic studies or relationships with family and friends. There are now more than 6 million people of all ages, living with more than 100 separate types of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases in Canada. Arthritis can generally be categorized into two types: osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. This issue of JointHealth™ insight provides evidence-based information on strategies to help change, overcome or manage the challenges arthritis patients face, including:
A guide to living well with osteoarthritis including information on the disease, diagnosis and self-care
Back-to-school tips for students living with inflammatory arthritis
How to participate in our #WhereIsArthritis social media campaign
Ask for your rheumatologist’s referral to make an appointment at the clinic!
The recently opened Surrey Inflammatory Arthritis (IA) Clinic is located at the Surrey Memorial Hospital and provides services for people living with inflammatory arthritis. The clinic has therapists (occupational therapy and physical therapy) who are specifically trained to help you manage and treat the physical and mental impacts of rheumatoid arthritis.
Sarah Bryant, an occupational therapist at the Surrey IA Clinic, explains her work relationship with the clinic’s physical therapist: “We work in a transdisciplinary model, which means that we both train each other in the basics of our profession in rheumatology and that if you have something really specific to the discipline, you can see either one of us, as needed.” This transdisciplinary approach eliminates the stress associated with multiple visits to the clinic.
The services provided at the clinic are publicly funded and available for people living with inflammatory arthritis who are:
18 years of age or older
diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis within the last two years
living in the Fraser Health region
have a rheumatologist’s referral to the Surrey IA Clinic
This video provides general information about what you should expect when you visit an occupational or physical therapist at the Surrey IA Clinic. For more information about the clinic or to schedule an appointment, please call 604-585-5666 (extension 778778).
To subscribers who live outside of British Columbia:
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is an infection that causes a painful skin rash and can lead to a variety of more complex, serious conditions. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. VZV can stay in the nerve cells of an individual long after they recover from chickenpox. The virus may lay dormant for decades, and then reactivate and cause shingles when the individual’s immune system is more weak.
Individuals over the age of 50 have an increased risk of developing shingles as well as anyone who has a compromised immune system. Many people with inflammatory arthritis have a compromised immune system due to taking medications that partially or completely suppress the immune response of an individual.
What is different about Shingrix®? Shingrix® is not a live vaccine, so individuals cannot develop shingles from the vaccine. Another shingles vaccine, called Zostavax®, is not suitable for individuals with a compromised immune system because it is a live vaccine.
The benefits of exercise in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis
ACE has frequently written about the benefits of exercise in inflammatory arthritis (IA) and osteoarthritis (OA). During a series of EULAR presentations, speakers provided evidence for regular physical activity for IA and OA patients.
Anne- Kathryn Rausch, an academic from Zurich University, spoke about how general recommendations for physical activity are effective, safe and feasible for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Continue reading →
JointHealth™ Education: Advanced Therapies for Inflammatory Arthritis
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is excited to announce the launch of its newest on-line patient education course: JointHealth™ Education Advanced Therapies for Inflammatory Arthritis. This three-lesson course is designed to help patients living with inflammatory arthritis identify when is the appropriate time to transition from conventional synthetic disease modifying medications (csDMARDs) to an advanced therapy, such as a targeted synthetic DMARD or biologic DMARD, and what key questions to ask about how they are taken and how they work in the body.
“JointHealth™ Education was inspired by many of ACE’s members living with an inflammatory arthritis who have told us they lack the knowledge and communications skills to have full, satisfying conversations with their rheumatologists on topics such as treatment options during their appointments. We want to ensure patients have the tools to understand when they need to start thinking about a therapy change. Patients like me often wait too long to make treatment plan adjustments, such as moving to an advanced therapy,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts.
“Canadian rheumatologists have been actively discussing and pursuing ways to improve communication between patients and rheumatologists in order to work together to set treatment goals and establish a treatment plan to achieve the best possible disease outcomes. JointHealth™ Education Advanced Therapies is a great course not just for patients, but also for rheumatologists – junior and senior, alike. We need to see our patient’s experiences, needs and goals through their eyes and words,” said Kam Shojania, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Professor and Head, Division of Rheumatology, University of British Columbia, and Medical Director of the Mary Pack Arthritis Program.
The JointHealth™ Education program provides current, evidence-informed lessons, quizzes and coaching videos through a secure, on-line classroom where “students” can learn from the comfort of their own home or over the work day lunch hour. The program helps prepare patients to appropriately frame their health concerns and questions with their health care provider. Upon successful completion of a course the patient “Graduate” receives a certificate indicating they have the knowledge and communication tips needed to successfully prepare for their medical visit, talk to their healthcare provider about setting treatment goals and making an overall plan, discuss specific treatments to manage and monitor their type of arthritis.
A team of researchers has developed Canada’s first set of systematic measures for tracking how well or poorly health systems are doing in providing services to people who have inflammatory arthritis (IA), a potentially crippling disease that is on the rise in Canada.
The researchers developed six key measures for gauging access to specialist care and initiation of treatment for people with IA, a disease grouping that includes rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. The work is described in March issue of The Journal of Rheumatology.
People who receive early diagnosis and start of treatment have a better chance of responding well and avoiding permanent joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common form of IA. There is a growing body of evidence that early detection and treatment are also crucial to good outcomes for people who have other types of IA. Continue reading →
Exploring Patient-Centered Care in Inflammatory Arthritis
A research team at the University of British Columbia is exploring experiences of people who have inflammatory arthritis dealing with their healthcare team. A healthcare team may include healthcare professionals, loved ones, and other caregivers.
The team is looking for patients who are:
age 18 years or older
live within the Greater Vancouver area
can understand and speak English
have been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and other spondyloarthropathies, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout and pseudo-gout, lupus, connective tissue disorders)
have been diagnosed within the last two and a half (2.5) years
September is Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada. In this issue of JointHealth™ monthly, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) looks at Models of Care for Inflammatory Arthritis to improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients by the health policy decision makers, rheumatologists, allied health professionals and other health care providers who care for them.
Below are highlights from this month’s newsletter:
What is an inflammatory arthritis model of care
The foundation of modernizing IA care in Canada
The role of IA patients in the development of a pan-Canadian approach to inflammatory arthritis models of care