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  • The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) is the umbrella body for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK, and our mission is to transform the quality of life of people with musculoskeletal conditions. We have 33 member organisations ranging from specialised support groups for rare diseases to major research charities and national professional bodies.

EULAR

One strategy, a learning management system, five recommendations, 12 campaign sponsorships and a first – and a tenth – anniversary

The European League Against Rheumatism, EULAR, is celebrating a year of achievement in rheumatology in 2018. EULAR launched its new five-year strategy as well as the EULAR School learning management system. It also published five recommendations, sponsored twelve countries in Europe to launch the EULAR Campaign, “Don’t Delay, Connect Today” at local level – and commemorated the first anniversary of the campaign with a dedicated press conference. 2018 also marked ten years since the People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe were integrated into the EULAR network, becoming one of the three pillars.

The EULAR Congress in Amsterdam, which received a record-breaking number of abstract submissions (5,090) in 2018, hosted the launch of the EULAR Strategy 2018-2023, as well as the launch of the EULAR School online learning management system (LMS).

The strategy is the third strategic cycle in developing excellence in rheumatology in six areas of focus: Education, the annual congress, quality of care, research, advocacy and the internal organisation of EULAR. It is designed to further enhance the excellent standards and activities established and led by EULAR across the field of rheumatology.

The learning management system from the EULAR School is accessible to individuals across the scientific, health professional and patient audience spectrum around the world and provides round-the-clock access to the highest-quality – and the most innovative content – in the area of rheumatology.

EULAR also published five recommendations during 2018. These included recommendations in the management of hand osteoarthritis; the effect of exercise and physical activity promotion in people with rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthrosis and osteoarthritis; health professional approaches to pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis; the management of Behçet’s syndrome and the use of imaging in large vessel vasculitis in clinical practice.

The sponsorship of twelve countries to implement the EULAR Campaign, Don’t Delay, Connect Today, was started in January 2018 and the campaign’s first anniversary was marked with a dedicated press conference held at the EULAR Congress in Amsterdam in June. The international awareness day, World Arthritis Day, was celebrated around the world on 12 October, with EULAR marking the day with a dedicated video that reached over half a million people.

2018 also marked ten years since the EULAR pillar, People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), was integrated into the network.

Looking to 2019, Professor Hans Bijlsma, EULAR President, says, “I would like to extend my personal thanks to all those in the EULAR network and beyond who have contributed to this milestone year in rheumatology. Let us all unite and go forward into the future in fighting rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases – together, we can contribute to a healthier world.”

There are only a few days left to apply for the prestigious EULAR Edgar Stene Prize Competition 2019. People with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders are invited to write about their personal experiences submitting essays on the topic of:

My ideal employer – Work without barriers for people with RMDs

Please find more information in these documents:

Please take a careful look at the deadlines and entry rules mentioned in the respective documents. The deadline for UK entries is Tuesday 11 December 2018, entries should be sent to projects@arma.uk.net by that date.

As with previous years, the national winning essays will be accepted in their native language and the EULAR Secretariat will take care of translating them into English.

EULAR looks forward again to receiving many inspiring and encouraging essays from all over Europe!

On 6 September 2018, The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) published an update to a set of recommendations for the management of hand osteoarthritis. The recommendations report on new evidence made since a first EULAR report was published in 2007.

See the press release (opens in PDF) for the five overarching principles and ten recommendations that were agreed upon in the EULAR document.

On behalf of Nele Caeyers, Chair of the EULAR Standing Committee of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE); Dieter Wiek, EULAR Vice President, representing PARE; and Polina Pchelnikova, Working Group leader of the Edgar Stene Prize; the EULAR secretariat is delighted to announce the call for entries for the Edgar Stene Prize Competition 2019.

People with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders are invited to write about their personal experiences submitting essays on the topic of:

“My ideal employer – Work without barriers for people with RMDs”

Please find more information in the attached documents [both PDFs]:

Please take a careful look at the deadlines and entry rules mentioned in the respective documents. The deadline for UK entries is Tuesday 11 December 2018, entries should be sent to projects@arma.uk.net by that date.

As with previous years, the national winning essays will be accepted in their native language and the EULAR Secretariat will take care of translating them into English.

EULAR looks forward again to receiving many inspiring and encouraging essays from all over Europe!

The EULAR PARE Editorial Board need your input regarding their publications, in order to assess their impact and value. They are looking for one person per organisation to give feedback on their e-Breakthrough newsletter and the hard copy, Breakthrough.

It would help them if you could fill out a short online survey by 30 July at the latest.

EULAR sends thanks in advance for your kind support!

EMEUNET (the Emerging Eular NETwork) and the EULAR School of Rheumatology have launched an online educational initiative called Twitter Journal Club, facilitated by experienced rheumatologists. The aim is to allow Twitter users to participate in a discussion with colleagues around the world about recent key papers in rheumatology.

Each month details of the article selected for the Journal Club as well as the EMEUNET paper of the month will be available for download on our the EMEUNET websiteYou can also have a look at the previous Journal Club sessions.

Survey: Social Media for health-related purposes

You are invited to participate in a research study titled “Understanding how people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) use social media for health-related purposes.”  This study is being undertaken by a team of international researchers and patient research partners.

Social media has been gaining increasing momentum in recent years and is used by different groups to stay up to date or exchange information. Social media tools are easily accessible and independent of geographical location. Therefore, social media also provides people with chronic conditions, such as rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), with new opportunities to identify information about their condition(s) and treatment(s), as well as the ability to connect with other patients, carers, patient organisations and healthcare professionals. However, despite the premise of social media for people with RMDs, it is less clear how and why people with RMDs use social media in relation to their health and wellbeing.

You can read the project summary here [in PDF] and take part in the survey via this link.

 

In May 2018, The European League Against Rheumatism published a set of recommendations designed to help health professionals implement approaches to pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis patients. The aim is to reduce pain and the burden on the individual and society.

Pain is the predominant symptom for people with inflammatory arthritis (IA) and osteoarthritis (OA), mandating the development of new, evidence-based EULAR Recommendations for the health professional’s approach to pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The target users of these recommendations are health professionals in the field of rheumatology, including rheumatologists. Prompt and knowledgeable pain management support can reduce pain, increase functioning and well-being, and reduce individual and societal costs. Practitioners in all healthcare settings should therefore have the knowledge and skills required to help people with IA and OA to better manage their pain; rheumatology health professionals are ideally placed to provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and patient-centred care.

Click on the image to see it full size,
or click here to download this flow chart as PDF.

Pain management typically includes education. Based on the needs of the patient, education is complemented by physical activity and exercise; aids and assistive devices; psychological and social interventions; sleep hygiene education; weight management; pharmacological and joint-specific treatment options; and interdisciplinary pain management. Underpinned by available systematic reviews and meta-analyses, these recommendations enable health professionals to provide knowledgeable pain management support for people with IA and OA. 

A multidisciplinary task force including patient representatives conducted a systematic literature review to evaluate evidence regarding effects on pain of multiple treatment modalities. The task force, which included eighteen members from twelve countries, consisted of patient representatives, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, rheumatologists, a general practitioner, an occupational therapist, a clinical epidemiologist, and a research fellow. 

From 2,914 studies initially identified, 186 met inclusion criteria. Based on the reviewed studies and expert opinion, the task force emphasised the importance for the health professional to adopt a patient-centred framework within a biopsychosocial perspective, to have sufficient knowledge of IA and OA pathogenesis, and to be able to differentiate localised and generalised pain. The assessment of patient needs, preferences and priorities; pain characteristics; previous and ongoing pain treatments; inflammation and joint damage; and psychological and other pain-related factors were deemed important. 

EULAR has funded a project aimed at understanding the development, evaluation and implementation of mobile phone applications for self-management in patients with rheumatic diseases.

Following a systematic literature teview, the project task force is now at a stage where it would like to gain insights into the patient’s views, perceptions and current use of health apps for self-management.

EULAR therefore kindly asks you to fill in the following survey:
surveymonkey.com/mHealthAppsSurvey
It takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.