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Nurse-led programs help patients self-manage RA
Date:6/14/2013

Madrid, Spain, 14 June 2013: Data first presented today at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism demonstrate the benefits of a nurse-led programme on patient self-management and the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) co-morbidities.

The COMEDRA study was a six-month trial involving patients with RA who attended one of the twenty participating treatment centres in France. Patients were randomly allocated to one of two arms of the trial; the evaluation of nurse-led programmes on patient self-assessment or on the management of co-morbidities.

Within six months the patient self-assessment arm showed 89% of patients completed self-assessment and calculated their Disease Activity Score (DAS). The results were shared with their treating rheumatologist, which resulted in 17.2% changing their drug therapy (p=0.0012).1 Regular assessment of disease activity enables measurement of disease status over time (e.g. flares); while unfeasible in the clinic these data show that it can be undertaken by nurses and patients.

RA patients are at increased risk of associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or infections. In the arm where a nurse-led programme assessed potential co-morbidities and risk factors, at 6 months the number of actions taken to reduce co-morbidities, per patient, was significantly higher (p<0.001).2 The action taken into account varied depending on the co-morbidity, for example patients with CVD might have had lipid-lowering or anti-platelet therapies introduced, whereas those with an infection risk may have been vaccinated.

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that principally attacks flexible joints. Affecting approximately 1 in 100 people worldwide, RA can cause pain, stiffness, progressive joint destruction and also reduce physical function, quality of life and life expectancy. In addition, RA is associated with a number of co-morbidities, including cardiovascular dis
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Contact: EULAR Press Office
eularpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com
44-020-733-15364
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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