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Young arthritis patients have unique concerns about treatment

A new study funded by Arthritis Research UK indicates that teens and young adults with inflammatory arthritis see treatment as presenting both an opportunity and a threat to their desire to lead a ‘normal’ life. They describe a wide range of consequences – physical, emotional, social, and vocational – arising from their treatment.

The findings indicate that young arthritis patients need active encouragement to discuss their treatment concerns and difficulties, so that a balance can be achieved between disease control and treatment burden.

“Young people can have severe arthritis, warranting aggressive treatment, but may find such regimens a struggle to sustain. Encouraging them to talk about the difficulties they may encounter, as well as the more positive outcomes of treatment, is essential if they are to make decisions they can see through,” said Ruth Hart, lead author of the Arthritis Care & Research study.

Article: Being ‘as normal as possible’: How young people (aged 16-25 years) evaluate the risks and benefits of treatment for inflammatory arthritis, Ruth I. Hart BA (Hons), MA, Janet E. McDonagh MBBS, MD, FRCP, Ben Thompson MBBS, MD, MRCP, Helen E. Foster MBBS (Hons), MD, Cert. Clin. Ed., FRCP, FRCPCH, Lesley Kay MSc, MA (Oxon), BMBCh, FRCP, Andrea Myers MBChB, MD, Cert. Clin. Ed., FRCP andTim Rapley BA (Hons), MA, PhD, Arthritis Care & Research, doi: 10.1002/acr.22832, published online 3 April 2016.