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Patient Engagement

Patient Education is one of the most important aspect of patient management.

Patient Education is one of the most important aspects of patient management. Education about the disease process, exacerbating factors, signs, and symptoms to monitor and diet and lifestyle modification including weight loss, exercises, and muscle strengthening may improve long-term outcomes in patients with various different types of arthritis. Adults with rheumatoid arthritis are given opportunities throughout the workshops on their disease to take part in educational activities that support self-management.

Rationale

It is important that adults with rheumatoid arthritis are involved in making decisions about their care and have a good understanding of their condition and its management. This enables them to get the best from their medicines, to better manage flare-ups, pain and fatigue, as well as improving their overall quality of life. To ensure they get the greatest benefit, it is essential that adults with rheumatoid arthritis are offered educational and self-management activities and signposting to resources provided by patient organizations like MEAF, throughout the disease course and at times to suit individual needs.

Interactive Educational Activities

Interactive educational activities and self-management programs can be provided 1-to-1 in an informal setting, through self-study or computer-based interventions. They can also be provided in formal organized group sessions led by rheumatology healthcare professionals, wellbeing coaches, or trained lay leaders with arthritis or other chronic conditions. Different formats may be used, and should include patient information supported by written resources, to improve understanding of the condition and its management, and counter any misconceptions adults with rheumatoid arthritis may have. Educational activities may include lectures or facilitated interactive group discussions to increase knowledge and reduce concerns. Alternatively, regular skills practice, goal setting and home programs may be used to facilitate behavioral change. The opportunity to take part in existing educational activities and self-management programs should be offered to patients with rheumatoid arthritis throughout the course of their disease.