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Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Kidneys – WebMD

Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Kidneys – WebMD | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People with rheumatoid arthritis may be at increased risk for kidney disease and require close monitoring, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at 813 people with rheumatoid arthritis and an ...
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Study: Culprit leading to rheumatoid arthritis discovered - Asahi Shimbun

Study: Culprit leading to rheumatoid arthritis discovered - Asahi Shimbun | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
Daily Mail Study: Culprit leading to rheumatoid arthritis discovered Asahi Shimbun An international group of researchers is offering hopes of a cure for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, identifying the prime culprit behind the onset of the...
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EULAR issues updated rheumatoid arthritis management recommendations

EULAR issues updated rheumatoid arthritis management recommendations | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has released updated recommendations for the management of RA.

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Digital CPR: E-Patient to E-Patient : online support groups foster positive health outcomes

Stead Burwell is a Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Health Networks. Since 2006, Mr. Burwell has been working with Alliance Health to help its founder, Geoff Swindle, build and strategically grow its business. Mr. Burwell has worked with startups in several different capacities as an operating executive, founder, venture board member and angel investor.

When Lana Barhum awoke one day unable to walk or use her hands, she knew something was wrong.

Later, when she received diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, conditions that in many ways still puzzle doctors, she turned to the Internet for more information and began blogging her tips for how to live successfully despite the pain. She also joined Arthritis Connect, an online social network, where she could learn from and share information with others with arthritis.

“Arthritis can be a lonely condition and support is an essential part of living despite our limitations,” said Barhum, now an advocate and mentor on the site. “The best people to connect with are those who understand your everyday struggles.”

The Internet provides people like Lana access to health information and specialists. But increasingly it has also opened up a space for connecting with others who share similar conditions, through blogging and social networking.

The Pew Research Center recently found that one in five Americans have gone online to find people with similar health concerns. For people with chronic illnesses, it’s one in four. Not surprisingly, doctors remain the first choice for an accurate medical diagnosis. But with more than 46 percent of patients saying they turn to their friends, family and other patients for day-to-day advice, social networking is clearly filling a need.

Studies show online support groups foster positive health outcomes, including escalating good, healthy habits. People are much more likely to achieve their health goals when paired-up with others who have similar goals. Healthy habits, such as eating right, sharing best practices and exercising, can truly go viral if the proper networks are established for the right information to be passed on.

Case in point: The Center for Connected Health released a study showing how social networks benefited patients with psoriasis, a common skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation. Nearly half of the participants reported an improvement in their quality of life after joining the online support site and 40 percent reported improvement with the severity of their psoriasis.

Social networking has created an outlet for patients and caregivers to put aside their reservations and ask important questions they probably wouldn’t ask in person. Social networks enable patients to open up and empower themselves to cope with their conditions through mutual support, ultimately leading to better lives.

Not all social networks are created equal

Not every social network is an appropriate venue for patient networking. The very nature of popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide a public stage to share personal information. However, patients may be (and should be) wary about sharing very sensitive and personal information on such sites. Although people can find emotional support on mainstream social networks, they can unintentionally invite unnecessary comments. A large, public forum means patients are less likely to post important or personal health questions.

At Alliance Health Networks, we aim to empower patients by making it easy to start conversations with other patients in the same situation. With more than 50 disease-specific social networks, like Arthritis Connect where Barhum participates, Alliance Health offers a variety of features that allow members to explore health and wellness topics on their own terms, share treatment experiences and post product recommendations. The resulting support and camaraderie help empower community members living with a chronic illness, and ideally improves their quality of life.

We have partnered with Tufts University School of Medicine to examine how utilization of disease-specific online social networks differs by condition, including levels of member engagement, attitudes toward using technologies for disease management and the value of online social support. We’re excited to see the results of the study and determine how members on our various social networks engage with one another so we can better tailor our communities to fit their needs.

Health care providers joining the online conversation

Recognizing that online communities are becoming more popular and rapidly growing, many of the largest and most respected health organizations and institutions are looking for ways to engage patients online.

Mayo Clinic, a leading nonprofit organization in medical care, research and education, is a trailblazer in this space. With nearly 300,000 followers on Twitter and close to 70,000 connections on Facebook, the organization recognized a growing need to provide an outlet for patients to engage one another. In July 2011, Mayo Clinic launched a social network for current and prospective patients, which now has some 13,000 registered users and continues to grow. This network allows patients to talk about their conditions, share their experience at the Mayo Clinic, post questions and provide encouragement to other patients exploring treatment options.

Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s leading diabetes research and clinical care organization, recently started actively participating on Alliance Health Networks’ Diabetic Connect (www.diabeticconnect.com), the largest online community focused specifically on diabetes. Diabetic Connect’s 670,000 members have direct access to Joslin medical experts, including diabetes educators, endocrinologists and clinicians, and can follow blog posts, ask the expert questions and track other topics of interest. Additionally, we are working together to develop other diabetes management tools, including interactive online classes. The first of the series will be “Monitoring Matters,” consisting of interactive tutorials that will be hosted on the Diabetic Connect and Joslin website.

The future of connected health

It’s easy to see the movement of health services transferring online. As empowered patients continue to scour the Internet for information and look for ways to connect with peers managing similar conditions, the role of tailored, private social networks will become increasingly relevant. People have always come together to share health-related support and advice – now, they can do it at Internet speed and scale.


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'It's vital to get more nurses into rheumatology'

'It's vital to get more nurses into rheumatology' | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it

Patricia Cornell is equipping nurses with auditing and communication skills to boost services in rheumatology.

 

Working in a specialty can be rewarding, but also isolating. Often as you drill down deeper, you tend to have less contact with other generalists or nurses from other specialties. This can affect your ability to learn from other people’s experience to improve your own practice.

 

That was the view of Patricia Cornell, a nurse with specialist knowledge of inflammatory arthritis. As part of the steering group for the RApport educational platform, which is designed to help the NHS enhance patient care in the field of rheumatoid arthritis, she knows that sharing best practice is the ideal way to equip nurses with non-clinical skills such as communication and auditing. “It’s the best way to push their careers to the next level,” she says.

 

For three years she has been working with the other seven committee members to put together educational programmes for rheumatology specialty services as well as yearly workshops for nurses.

 

From her 25 years of nursing experience at the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal Navy and Poole Hospital Foundation Trust, Ms Cornell has an extensive background in rheumatology. She is also on several clinical committees as well as RApport, including EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism), which represents patients, health professionals and scientific societies of rheumatology of all European nations.

 

She believes auditing can also identify where there are a shortage of specialists, which she thinks is a problem in her area as it is in many others.

 

“Getting more nurses into rheumatology is really important. It’s important for patients; we know that from what they have said. Specialist nurses are needed all over the UK so patients can cope with their long-term conditions better,” she says.

 

But finding specialists isn’t her only concern. She believes many nurses have a difficult time communicating in the workplace, hence the workshop on communication skills and using neurolinguistic programming to better understand patients’ needs,and using verbal and non-verbal cues effectively.


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Rheumatoid Arthritis Blood Tests – What Do They Mean?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Blood Tests – What Do They Mean? | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
"RF. ESR. Anti-CCP. ANA. CPR. No, these aren't codes used by secret agents to communicate their missions. They're names of blood tests used in diagnosing and managing rheumatoid arthritis. When you're new to this ...
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Safer COX-2 Inhibitors May Someday Be Available for Arthritis Patients - About - News & Issues

Safer COX-2 Inhibitors May Someday Be Available for Arthritis Patients - About - News & Issues | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
Safer COX-2 Inhibitors May Someday Be Available for Arthritis Patients
About - News & Issues
Do you remember when the U.S. FDA pulled the COX-2 inhibitor Vioxx (rofecoxib) from the market in 2004?
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Major new research centre to tackle crippling condition of rheumatoid arthritis | Arthritis Research UK

Major new research centre to tackle crippling condition of rheumatoid arthritis | Arthritis Research UK | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
Medical research charity Arthritis Research UK has announced a major new research centre that aims to find out more about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis.
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Arthritis Support Groups – how health professionals can play a role

Arthritis Support Groups – how health professionals can play a role | Chat Rheum | Scoop.it
RT @chatrheum: Arthritis Support Groups – how health professionals can play a role http://t.co/mh7KSfRgoJ #rheumatologist #rheum #arthritis…

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