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Increased risk of attempted suicide in patients with arthritis

Two people sitting with backs to each otherA new study from the University of Toronto found that people living with arthritis are 46 percent more likely to attempt suicide than those living without arthritis.

In the study, researchers looked at factors associated with ever having attempted suicide in a sample of 4,885 patients with arthritis across Canada and 16,859 patients without arthritis. All the data were collected from the 2012 Canadian Health Survey-Mental Health. The research found that: Continue reading

Sexual challenges linked to rheumatoid arthritis

Today’s European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress press conference profiled a study that looked at the connection between sexual dysfunction and rheumatoid arthritis. Below is a copy of the press release:

EULAR Press Conference slide

EULAR 2016

European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress

London, United Kingdom, 8-11 June 2016

ONE-THIRD OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PATIENTS EXPERIENCE SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
New insights into sexual problems linked to rheumatoid arthritis

London, United Kingdom, 10 June 2016: The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) showed that sexual dysfunction is present in more than one-third of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are still sexually active, both men and women. A variety of difficulties may affect RA patients, including lack of libido, painful intercourse, orgasmic dysfunction, premature ejaculation and a non-satisfactory sexual life.

Continue reading

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: Depression linked to disease activity

A press release issued on June 9, 2016 by the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress highlighted a study that suggest depression is linked to disease activity and disability in adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Below is a copy of the press release:

 

EULAR press conference slide

EULAR 2016

European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress

London, United Kingdom, 8-11 June 2016

DEPRESSION LINKED TO DISEASE ACTIVITY AND DISABILITY IN ADOLESCENTS WITH ARTHRITIS
Study reinforces the importance of psychological assessment and support

London, United Kingdom, 9 June 2016: The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) confirmed a clear association between depression symptom severity and the level of disease activity and disability in adolescent patients with juvenile inflammatory arthritis (JIA). These findings highlight the importance of psychological health assessment for adolescents with JIA and underline the need for psychological support to be fully integrated into their routine care.

Latest patient-focused news from EULAR 2016

The European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress is happening from June 8-11 in London, UK. Here is the latest press release highlighting patient-focused efforts at the conference this year:

EULAR Press Conference Slide

EULAR 2016

European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress

London, United Kingdom, 8-11 June 2016

NEW PATIENT-FOCUSED INITIATIVES SET TO OPTIMISE CARE OF RHEUMATIC DISEASES
Better understanding of the patient perspective and actively encouraging patient participation is key

London, United Kingdom, 8 June 2016: Results from patient-focused initiatives unveiled at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) have highlighted the importance of seeking and better understanding the patient perspective, as well as actively encouraging patient participation, to optimise care of rheumatic diseases.

Findings from these patient-focused initiatives show:

  • Although many patients are satisfied with their RA treatment, non-adherence persists and many would like to discuss and/or change their current prescribed treatment, but don’t discuss it through fear of their case being compromised*
  • How patients with rheumatic diseases and their HCPs highly value patient participation in multidisciplinary team conferences, with treatment plans developed in partnership encouraging greater patient commitment and better outcomes**
  • How patients can usefully be involved in updating clinical training programmes by making healthcare providers and medical students more aware of the patients’ perspective as an important step towards optimizing care in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).***Patient survey highlights importance of treatment conversations between patients and HCPs

Patient survey highlights importance of treatment conversations between patients and HCPs

Although many patients are satisfied with their RA treatment, non-adherence persists and many would like to discuss and/or change their currently prescribed treatment, but don’t discuss it through fear of their care being compromised. This was the main finding from a patient survey, developed by the RA NarRAtive global advisory panel, which was designed to better understand the perspective of patients regarding management of their RA and interactions with their physicians.*

The RA NarRAtive initiative is the first survey of its kind to simultaneously evaluate the patient/HCP relationship and communication, as well as patients’ experience and satisfaction with treatment and disease management.More than 3,600 adults with RA from 13 countries responded to the patient-based survey. Almost one-half of RA patients under HCP care acknowledged that dialogue with their physician would optimise management of their condition. However, around six out of every ten respondents felt uncomfortable raising treatment/disease concerns to their HCP, feeling anxiety about raising too many questions and consequentially being perceived as a difficult patient.Although the current treatment goal for physicians is to achieve clinical remission or low disease activity,**** patients most commonly defined successful treatment as a reduction of pain and/or joint swelling/inflammation (81%) and improvements in quality of life (77%).

“Further understanding the responses from this survey will be important to facilitate communication between patients and HCPs, with the ultimate aim of improving treatment outcomes,” said lead author Ms. Cheryl Koehn, President of Arthritis Consumer Experts, Vancouver, Canada.

Of the 2,139 RA patients receiving medication, justover one-third admitted to not taking it as prescribed. Overall, just over three-quarters of patients currently taking RA medication were satisfied with their treatment regimen; however, 70% desired fewer medications, more than one-half were worried their medications would fail, and more than one-half wanted more medication choices. Aspects of current prescribed treatment that RA patients would most like to change included: number and frequency of medications (35%); side effects (34%); access to, or cost of treatment (30%); availability of mono therapy (25%); alternative to subcutaneous injections (18%); inconvenience or limitations from medication (16%); and mode of administration (12%).

Please click here to read the full press release.

References

* EULAR 2016; London: Abstract OP0248

**EULAR 2016; London: Abstract OP0269-HPR

***EULAR 2016; London: Abstract OP0014-PARE

****Smolen JS, Breedveld FC, Burmeister GR, et al. Treating rheumatoid arthritis to target: 2014 update of the recommendations of an international task force. Ann Rheum Dis 2016; 75: 3-15.

New robotic horse for arthritis

A team of student engineers from William Marsh Rice University, a private research university located in Houston, Texas, has developed a robotic horse that may help patients with arthritis. Based on the premise of hippotherapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy, the horse simulator is a robotic horse that can be ridden indoors anytime.

Hippotherapy relies on horses to improve the symptoms of patients with neurological or physical illnesses like autism, cerebral palsy, and arthritis. The rhythmic, swinging motion passes through the entire body and is thought to enhance balance, coordination and motor development. This form of treatment is prohibitive because of its cost and accessibility. Physical therapy sessions with a horse can cost upwards of $150 an hour. Continue reading

Have you signed up yet?

Have you recently been recommended to START or SWITCH biologic medications for rheumatoid arthritis?

SuPER study bannerWe are looking for people with rheumatoid arthritis across Canada to test a new online tool that helps to make decisions about using biologic medications.

If you have been recommended to consider STARTING or SWITCHING biologics, we invite you to participate in this study.

You may be eligible if you:

  1. Have rheumatoid arthritis
  2. See a rheumatologist
  3. You are considering or reconsidering starting or switching biologics
  4. Have a valid email and internet access

This study can be completed from home or anywhere with internet access. Any information you provide will be completely confidential. An honorarium will be provided for your time.

If you would like more information, please contact Jasmina Memetovic, Research Coordinator by phone at 604-207-4007, toll free 1-877-871-4575, or email jmemetovic@arthritisresearch.ca.