In Arthritis Consumer Experts’ (ACE) latest issue of JointHealth™ insight, we explore what “building bridges” – the theme to this year’s Canadian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Health Professions Association Annual Scientific Meeting – means to arthritis patients and health care providers. To help you, we have prepared a curated guide to a selection of #CRArthritis interviews, outlining key points covered during the event.
Among the topics of interest to patients, the interviews provide information on:
Building bridges between patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and allied health professionals
Kids and arthritis
Working with arthritis
Targeted specific research
Mental health and arthritis
Hot topics from arthritis patient organizations
Models of arthritis care
All interviews can be accessed through YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. To turn on French subtitles, please adjust the YouTube settings for each interview.
You can participate if you are a person living with or a caregiver of someone living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Research Objective Pain Studies Lab at Simon Fraser University is seeking participants above 45 years old for a study on a mobile health application.
What do I have to do in the study? The study will take about 2 hours to complete. You will be shown a mobile application meant to measure and track arthritis, and you will be asked questions about the usability of this application. There will also be an open-ended section to discuss your opinions about the application.
You will receive $40 as appreciation for your effort and time after completing the study.
How to participate? To participate, you must be:
Above 45 years old;
The person or the caregiver of the person who has a diagnosis of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis;
Using a smartphone in your daily life, such as using one or more Apps regularly;
Able to communicate in verbal and written English.
Interested? Have questions? For more information or to book your appointment, please feel free to contact us: Weina Jin Telephone/text: 604-603-8530 Email: email@example.com
For some individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA), their
rheumatologist or family doctor may recommend a knee replacement if other forms
of treatment have not improved the joint’s ability to function or failed to
prevent further joint damage. A knee replacement is a surgical procedure in
which parts of the joint are replaced with artificial material to restore
function and ultimately reduce pain. In some cases, where both knees are
severely affected, patients might consider getting both knees replaced during
the same surgery, a procedure known as a bilateral knee replacement.
A recent story published in MedPage Today, and featured in RheumNow, explored the mixed evidence and experience related to bilateral knee replacement.
The primary advantage to getting a combined surgery is that there
is only one hospital stay and one recovery/rehabilitation period for both
knees. This means less time off work, in pain and needing supportive care. In
addition, the combined procedure often costs less for the patient and the
provider than having them done at different times. In 2016, the Canadian
Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found that the overall cost of the
simultaneous procedure was $20,800 compared to $23,700 for two separate
procedures. In Canada, knee replacement surgery, hospital stay and post-surgery
care (such as physiotherapy) are covered by provincial healthcare plans. Due to
the nature of the healthcare system in the United States, the reduced cost of
surgery can make a significant difference for patients.
What changes would you like to see in models of arthritis care?
Arthritis is a chronic disease that has a devastating and debilitating effect on the lives of more than 6 million Canadians. According to the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, more than 500,000 Albertans are living with arthritis – approximately one in five. Within a generation, more than one in four Albertans is expected to have the most disabling and life-threatening types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and work disability in Alberta, with nearly three out of every five people with arthritis of working age, costing Alberta’s economy $3.3 billion in direct and indirect costs.
Considering the prevalence of the disease and its significant cost to individuals and society, arthritis should be an issue of great importance to candidates running for office.
ACE sent an open letter and a survey to candidates running in the Alberta election. As part of its core government outreach activities and in the spirit of non-partisanship, ACE outlines the impact of arthritis in Alberta and asks each candidate to share how government can improve prevention, treatment and care in Alberta.
The questionnaire asked the following questions:
What will your government do to bring a high quality, standardized evidence-based model of arthritis care for all Alberta residents?
What will your government do to introduce patient education and exercise programs, such as GLA:D, that have been proven to significantly reduce hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms?
What will your government do to improve the uptake of biosimilars and increase accessibility to life saving medications and reduce out-of-pocket costs for Alberta residents living with inflammatory arthritis?
What will your government do to improve the healthcare and lives of Aboriginals living with arthritis in Alberta?
How will your government establish better prevention programs and facilitate flexible work arrangements to help reduce the direct and indirect costs of arthritis to Alberta employers and the Alberta economy?
Will your government take steps to increase the number of rheumatologists and trained arthritis professionals to ensure timely, specialized care for Alberta patients with arthritis?
ACE will be collecting Party and individual candidate’s responses. Responses will be posted on the Alberta Election 2019 page as we receive them.
If you have comments, questions, or concerns about any of the answers provided, please take the time to contact the parties.
Did their responses help you decide how you will vote? Tell us what you think of their answers. Please contact us by email.
Mental Health and arthritis: a complex relationship
In the latest issue of JointHealth™ insight, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) reports on the important relationship between mental health and arthritis. People with inflammatory arthritis are more likely to experience mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and “brain fog” than the general population.
This issue of JointHealth™ insight will cover the following:
Relationships between depression, “brain fog” and inflammatory arthritis
Burden of depression
Recognizing and managing depression and anxiety
Prevent depression and anxiety
Love, sex, and arthritis*
*Please be advised that the content in this section contain graphics of “joint friendly” positions during sex and may not be appropriate for you or others in your household. The graphics are excerpted from the book, “Rheumatoid Arthritis: Plan to Win”, by Cheryl Koehn, Dr. John Esdaile and Taysha Palmer published by Oxford University Press, 2002.
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”.
Pain is your body’s warning signal, letting you know that something is wrong in your body. When part of your body is injured or damaged, chemical signals are released that travel from nerve system cells (called neurons) to your brain where they are recognized as pain.
EQUIP-ing OA Patients and Health Care Providers Through Patient Engagement in Research with Marie Westby and Cheryl Koehn
The OA Action Alliance Lunch & Learn webinars keep you up-to-date on the latest osteoarthritis research, news and activities. This particular webinar will feature Marie Westby and Cheryl Koehn and will take place on November 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm ET. Webinars are free and open to the public. Webinars are archived on the events page on the OA Action Alliance’s website and on their YouTube channel in case you missed one or can’t get enough!
Marie Westby, PT, PhD is the Physical Therapy Teaching Supervisor in the Mary Pack Arthritis Program in Vancouver, BC and holds a Clinician Scientist position in the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver. Continue reading →
The most recent EULAR recommendations for pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) include physical activity and exercise as a part of a patient’s treatment plan. Physical activity has been shown to significantly ease joint pain and increase mobility, for this reason, exercise is increasingly being prescribed by physicians and other healthcare providers.
Some examples of well-known and effective exercises for people with arthritis include walking, biking and swimming. These are low-impact aerobic exercises, meaning they will generally be easier on the joints and cause your heart rate to increase. Are there other activities that could also benefit people living with arthritis, such as yoga?
Despite the lack of scientific proof, stem cell therapy is becoming increasingly popular, with dozens of clinics open across Canada and hundreds in the United States. These clinics are offering treatment for a wide range of diseases including asthma, multiple sclerosis, crohn’s, osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. A recent study found that Canadian businesses are making strong and unproven claims about the benefits of stem cell therapy. Advertisements intentionally use scientific language which can mislead consumers into thinking they are science-based therapies. While there are credible facilities that do stem cell transplants for conditions such as cancers of the blood, there isn’t sufficient research to support the safety and efficacy for treating other diseases such as osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. As stated by researcher Leigh Turner on CTV news, “you have a lot of companies and clinics setting up shop and there’s this pretty big gap between the marketing claims they make and the current state of stem cell research.” A different article exploring the boom of stem cell clinics in America, found that advertisements use patient testimonial to appeal to consumers, which may just be a result of the placebo effect.
ACE is attending this week’s American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting, the largest international gathering of arthritis researchers, clinicians, academics, patient advocates and arthritis health professionals. Here are some of today’s highlights:
Improving osteoarthritis management
There are currently more than 4.4 million Canadians living with osteoarthritis (OA). Within a generation (in 30 years), more than 10 million (or one in four) Canadians are expected to have OA. A 2017 study, “Productivity costs of work loss associated with osteoarthritis in Canada from 2010 to 2013,” found the rising rates of OA will cost the Canadian economy an estimated $17.5 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031 as the disease forces greater numbers of people to stop working or work less.
ACE and other members of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada have helped raise awareness with health care policy makers that OA is the leading cause of disability in older adults. One of Canada’s leading osteoarthritis researchers, Dr. Gillian Hawker, Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto has stated: “the highest rates of OA are increasing fastest among young people (20-59 years), due largely to childhood obesity and knee injury. While effective therapies exist, the high prevalence of comorbidity in people with OA makes management challenging (as many of 90% of people with OA have at least one additional chronic condition – most often diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure).” Continue reading →