Recent Survey Demonstrates Arthritis Foundation Program Improves Communication Between Doctors and Patients

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The Arthritis Foundation today announced a continuation of its Let's Talk RA® program, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, based on success demonstrated through a recent survey of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Participants in the program reported improved communication with their rheumatologists and satisfaction with changes in their treatment.

Through Let's Talk RA, we have shown that we can improve communication between patients and rheumatologists, thereby leading to improved results for people with rheumatoid arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation today announced a continuation of its Let's Talk RA® program, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, based on success demonstrated through a recent survey of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Participants in the program reported improved communication with their rheumatologists and satisfaction with changes in their treatment. In addition to providing a communication guide for patients to use with their physicians, the program offers town hall forums for RA patients and their caregivers to speak with experts.

A few key survey findings from RA patients who received the Let's Talk RA Communication Guide include:

  • Nearly 75% feel comfortable discussing their physical limitations caused by RA
  • 72% say they are aware of treatment options
  • 72% report that they are comfortable discussing treatment side effects
  • 51% discussed treatment modifications with their doctor during their last appointment. Of those, 60% indicated that they were highly satisfied with resulting changes to their treatment plan

"Through Let's Talk RA, we have shown that we can improve communication between patients and rheumatologists, thereby leading to improved results for people with rheumatoid arthritis," said John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "It's important that we build on this successful program and continue to help people living with RA work with their physicians to get the best possible treatment outcomes."

The Arthritis Foundation selected 11 cities across the nation to host Let's Talk RA town hall forums throughout April and May and featuring rheumatologists. The forums allow attendees to learn and discuss the importance of improved physician-patient communication, disease management and making better lifestyle choices. Medical experts will answer questions during the Q&A portion of the meetings.

Let's Talk RA Communication Guide
The Let's Talk RA communication guide was designed by the Arthritis Foundation with input from rheumatologists to help those with RA prepare for each doctor visit. The guide offers practical tips, including what information to take notes on and types of questions to ask the doctor. Tips to facilitate the dialogue on treatment plan options and modifiable lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise also are included. The free communication guide is available from the Arthritis Foundation's Web site at http://www.arthritis.org/LetsTalkRA or by calling 1-800-283-7800.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation in the lining of the joints (or synovium), causing joint damage with chronic pain, stiffness and swelling. RA affects more than 1.3 million people in the United States and is more common in women, who account for 75 percent of patients diagnosed with RA.6

About the Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's number one cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has 43 chapters and 150 community service points located throughout the country. The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948.

The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or http://www.arthritis.org.

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