A site full of information, social tam tam and initiatives also aimed at doctors. These are the elements of the rheumatoid arthritis awareness campaign “speak louder than your RA”, which is renewed to continue to promote collaboration between the patient and the rheumatologist, to achieve treatment goals and try to improve the quality of life. “All patients should be active protagonists of their own care path, engaging in an empathic relationship with their specialist, to improve the quality of life and the management of the disease towards achieving the main goal: remission”, he explains. Roberto Gorla, rheumatologist at the Civil Hospital of Brescia. Hence the name of the site, www.missioneremissione.it, where patients can find information on the disease and useful advice for its daily management, as well as a questionnaire and a downloadable guide to help them in dialogue with the rheumatologist. For the relaunch of the campaign, the site has now been enriched with new content and video insights with rheumatologists, nutritionists, psychologists, physiatrists and cognitive-behavioral therapy specialists. The initiative is promoted by AbbVie with the patronage of the National Association of Rheumatic Diseases (ANMAR) and the National Association of People with Rheumatological and Rare Diseases (APMARR).
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Rheumatoid arthritis and the role of the patient
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the immune system plays a role, causing pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of function in the joints. In Italy, it affects about 300 thousand people and every year about 5 thousand new cases are registered, with a difference in gender: the incidence is in fact 4-13 cases per 100 thousand men and 13-36 every 100 thousand women. It can occur at any age, but the diagnosis is most frequently between the ages of 40 and 70, although the peak of onset of the first symptoms occurs between the ages of 35 and 45. “People with rheumatoid arthritis can play a central role in managing their disease,” he says Serena Guiducci, associate professor of Rheumatology and Director of Rheumatology at Careggi Hospital, University of Florence: “This pathology is characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints with consequent loss of muscle mass. With an adequate program of physical activity it is possible to obtain many beneficial effects without aggravating the joint damage and, therefore, the disease “.
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Objective: clinical remission
Clinical remission refers to the absence of signs and symptoms and the absence of inflammatory activity. This can and should be the overriding goal in treatment. Although it is not yet curable, in fact, rheumatoid arthritis is now potentially manageable. “Clinical remission of the disease is a possible goal for the majority of patients thanks to timely diagnosis, effective treatment and an optimal and continuous therapeutic strategy”, underlines Silvia Tonolo, president of ANMAR: “But it is also essential to promote proactive dialogue and collaboration between patient and rheumatologist to arrive at a shared care strategy, which defines the objectives of the treatment”. “The remission – he concludes Antonella Celanopresident of APMARR – when it is sustained over time, it allows the patient to resume a normal life from the point of view of symptoms, with a return to full working and social efficiency “.