Rheumatoid Arthritis: Be Empowered To Improve Your Treatment Experience
Think about it – the more comfortable you feel with a friend, the more willing you are to open up and share what’s happening with you. It can work the same way with your doctor.
A new survey of more than 3,600 adults living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) shows that a patient’s perception of their disease and its treatment, as well as their relationship with their healthcare professional, CAN positively impact the management of their disease.
Talking with your physician is a key component as there are some important aspects to filling doctor-patient gaps when it comes to communication:
- Reveal aspects of your personal life, (stress, major changes, etc.)
- Prepare, even practice, what you are going to say when describing your symptoms
However, despite the importance of patient-doctor communication and comfort, the survey revealed that in the U.S.
- 2 in 5 (41%) patients who currently see an HCP to manage their RA report feeling uncomfortable raising concerns and fears with their healthcare professional
- Approximately 1 in 5 (22%) patients who currently see an HCP to manage their RA worry that if they ask too many questions, their healthcare professional will see them as a difficult patient and it will affect the quality of their care.
This survey is a part of the RA NarRAtive, an international initiative aimed at promoting the important role of the patient in the successful management of RA. Patient-doctor communication is of particular importance with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects approximately 23.7 million people worldwide. Sponsored by Pfizer, this initiative is led by a Global Advisory Panel comprised of 27 RA experts, including physician and patient group leaders from around the world, such as the Arthritis Foundation in the United States.
Dr. Ara Dikranian San Diego Arthritis Medical Clinic, member of the RA NarRAtive Advisory Panel, and Cindy McDaniel, Senior Vice President, Consumer Health, Arthritis Foundation, joined me recently to discuss these and other surprising findings of the RA NarRAtive patient survey and offer helpful tips on how to improve communication between doctors and patients.
Take a listen to the interview below.
For more information, visit: www.Pfizer/com/RANarRAtive and www.RethinkRA.com.
Meet Our Guests:
ARA DIKRANIAN, M.D.
Dr. Ara Dikranian has been with SDAMC since 2004. “Dr. D,” as he is known to his patients, comes from a long family line of health care providers, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and two uncles. His enthusiasm, compassion and love for rheumatology are greater today than ever before.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychobiology in 1991 and his M.D. in 1995, both from the University of Southern California. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine, and fellowship in rheumatology, at the University of California, San Diego between 1995 and 2000, when he received his rheumatology board certification. Today, he calls SDAMC home and he’s part of the Sharp network of recommended physicians. He also volunteers his time for patients served by the Arthritis Foundation San Diego chapter’s free clinics. Also, he’s active as speaker for and advisor to various pharmaceutical companies.
Sr. Vice President, Consumer Health
Through her various roles at the Arthritis Foundation, Cindy has more than three decades of experience understanding, educating and empowering people with arthritis to live better. She was the founding editor of Arthritis Today magazine in 1987 and became publisher in 2001. She also oversees the Foundation’s consumer research initiatives and our nationwide health outreach through numerous tools and channels. Cindy is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Buckhead, serving on its board and as president. In 2009, she was awarded the Clifford M. Clarke Award for Outstanding Leadership, the Foundation’s highest employee honor.
“For the past 30 years, the Arthritis Foundation has been more than a life’s career for me; it’s been a life’s cause,” says Cindy. “Today my commitment is stronger than ever to pursue the ultimate answer that will end the pain of so many.”