Arthritis Research Canada new research to address impact of COVID-19 on medication use and mental health for people with arthritis


May 4, 2020 (Vancouver, BC) – Arthritis Research Canada’s research scientist Dr. Mary De Vera and her team have launched a new study, UNIFIED. This study seeks to better understand the experiences of individuals with rheumatic diseases and immunosuppressive conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that people living with arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus, are more vulnerable to infection because of their arthritis and the medications used for their treatment. What we do not know is how the pandemic has impacted people with arthritis and how we can better support arthritis patients.

Through surveys and interviews, the UNIFIED study will ask people living with arthritis how COVID-19 has affected access to and use of their arthritis medications and how COVID-19 has impacted their mental health. The study will also assess patients’ experiences with care and accessing their physician in this time of difficulty. This includes the telehealth (telephone or video), treatment decisions, and mental health check-ups.

“We have seen that information sharing has been key to understanding COVID-19 and decisions made around it. Our study is important because we hope to gather information specific to people living with arthritis who we know are being seriously affected by COVID-19,” said Dr. De Vera. “I am particularly interested in issues related to medication use and mental health as these are related to my ongoing research studies at Arthritis Research Canada.”

We need patient input so that decisions made by doctors and healthcare systems can be informed and optimized during the pandemic and beyond. For more information, please visit www.arthritisresearch.ca

UNIFIED Study: https://www.arthritisresearch.ca/participants-needed-understanding-the-experiences-of-individuals-with-immunosuppressive-conditions-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-unified/

MATTERS Study: https://www.arthritisresearch.ca/research/mapping-the-epidemiology-and-the-role-of-treatments-in-mental-health-complications-in-inflammatory-arthritis-matters/




Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. Led by world-renowned rheumatologist, Dr. John Esdaile, Arthritis Research Canada’s scientific team of over 100 are creating a future where people living with arthritis are empowered to triumph over pain and disability. Within British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, Arthritis Research Canada is leading research aimed at arthritis prevention, early diagnosis, new and better treatment, and improved quality of life.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:  

Marketing & Communications
Arthritis Research Canada
604-207-4010 or mc@arthritisresearch.ca

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