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Our new online arthritis resource
[Posted: Tue 19/05/2009 www.irishhealth.com]
A new online resource has been launched by irishhealth.com to provide information and support to thousands of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Ireland and their families.
It is estimated that there are 40,000 people with RA in Ireland.
The rheumatoid arthritis clinic has been developed in association with Arthritis Ireland. It can be accessed at http://www.irishhealth.com/clin/ra
This specialised channel within irishhealth.com offers practical advice on the management of RA both in terms of treatment and guidance on practical day-to-day issues.
The aim is to add to the pool of information about arthritis care offered by Arthritis Ireland, to provide an online resource to aid in self-management and to complement the work of health professionals.
The online resource features a wide range of information and support tools to provide practical advice and emotional support to people with RA, including details on the condition, its management and treatment options. There will be regular RA news updates.
The clinic includes a ‘symptom tracker’ to record and chart RA patients’ progress. There is also a discussion forum in which people with RA can exchange information and share their experiences with other people living with RA.
According to John Church, Chief Executive of Arthritis Ireland: “The rheumatoid arthritis clinic is a much-needed source of information for people living with RA around the country. Many people with RA experience social isolation having to give up work or reducing their social activities, so we hope that the ‘discussion forum’ provides a platform for patients to share their experiences with people in a similar situation. Arthritis Ireland is delighted to have been involved in the development of this valuable resource.”
People of any age can develop RA, but it is most common between the ages of 30 and 50 years, with seven in 10 of those diagnosed with RA having had to give up work as a consequence. RA is an ‘autoimmune disease’, which means that a person's immune system, which normally helps protect the body from infection and disease, attacks joint tissues for unknown reasons. It can affect many different joints; often resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints.
The RA Clinic is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Roche Products (Ireland) Limited.
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