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EU presidency focuses on rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases
Date:10/21/2010

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Delegates also made the case for concrete actions on prevention. The impact of musculoskeletal diseases could in many cases be limited if people affected by them benefited from early referral and early diagnosis. Well trained general practitioners and specialists as well as a sufficient number of specialised centres, were mentioned as key elements to serve this purpose.

According to participants, EU institutions and Member States should guarantee that the management of chronic diseases, and particularly MSKD, is organised in accordance with evidence-based recommendations. Moreover, standards of care should be further developed and implemented across Europe.

Special attention was given to the role of patients in both prevention and management of musculoskeletal diseases. It was emphasized that patients should be more involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of healthcare services, and that new forms of doctor/patients partnership should be developed. Neil Betteridge, Vice President of the EULAR Standing Committee of People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), said: "The involvement of patients represents benefits in two different ways. First, it promotes self-management and self-sufficiency, which are essential for coping with our own diseases. Second, as we are experts in living with these conditions, we can make a significant contribution in designing and evaluating preventive initiatives and treatments".

Delegates also recognised the need for a stronger commitment of both Member States and EU institutions to support and fund basic and applied research in this area. It was stressed that it is not only important to improve knowledge on the determinants of these disorders, but also knowledge and technologies in the fields of prevention and treatment.

EULAR President Prof. Emery presented the conference recommendations at the Ministerial Conference "Innovative approaches for chronic illness in Public Health and Hea
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Contact: Rory Berrie
rory.berrie@cohnwolfe.com
44-020-733-15317
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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