The Arthritis Health Journal: An Online Tool for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Principal Investigators:

Diane Lacaille, MD, MHSc, FRCPC Mary Pack Chair in Arthritis Research Senior Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada Professor, University of British Columbia Paul Adam, MSW Rheumatology Liaison and Outreach Services Coordinator Mary Pack Arthritis Program

Why do this research?

People who are actively involved in the management of their chronic disease tend to be more successful in reaching their health goals and have better treatment outcomes. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it is important to start medications early and to escalate treatment until the patient has reached a level of low disease activity or remission. The Arthritis Health Journal was developed to help patients monitor their symptoms, track their disease activity, and develop actions plans with their rheumatologists that will help them manage their rheumatoid arthritis. This online tool can provide early warning when targets are not being met so that treatment can be modified as needed.

What was found?

The study is currently undergoing analysis.

How will this study be conducted?

We held interviews with rheumatologists and people with RA in order to find out what they wanted to see in the Arthritis Health Journal. We gained valuable insight into how the tool may be used to help manage disease and improve communication and teamwork between patients and their rheumatologists. Based on this feedback, we designed and developed a journal that is simple, easy-to-use and provides a positive and engaging environment for managing arthritis. We invited RA patients to use the tool at our test site to get their feedback on the tool’s design and ease-of-use. Their suggestions were used to further refine the journal. Now that development is complete, we are inviting 100 people with RA to test the Arthritis Health Journal. Participants are given online access and asked to use the tool at their leisure for at least six months. They complete questionnaires that will assess the feasibility of using the tool in daily life and evaluate how it influences the care and management of their RA.  Several of these participants will also be invited for one-on-one interviews with a member of the research team so that we can gain a deeper understanding of its effectiveness.

How is this study being funded?

This research is being funded by a peer-reviewed grant from the Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology cAre (CIORA), a program of the Canadian Rheumatology Association.

Co-Investigators:

Linda Li, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD Senior Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada Associate Professor, University of British Columbia Anne Townsend, PhD Affiliated Scientist, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada Research Associate, Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics Charlie Goldsmith, PhD Biostatistician, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada Professor, Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Collaborators:

Bev Mitchell Director of Business, Telehealth and Collaborative Solutions, Vancouer Coastal Health and Provincial Health Services Authority Gwen Ellert Health Educator Nadia Prestley Arthritis Patient Advisory Board

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