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The Kalona News

May 23, 2018 It's a Joint Effort: Tips for Proactively Managing Psoriatic Arthritis
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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

(BPT) - Content sponsored and provided by Pfizer. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic autoimmune and inflammatory condition that can include a variety of symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, and swollen toes and/or fingers.[1]a For those living with psoriatic arthritis, working with various healthcare providers to manage the range of symptoms can be overwhelming.[2] To elevate the voices of patients and uncover insights about patient-physician communication, Pfizer’s PsA Narrative surveyed 301 adults living with psoriatic arthritis in the U.S. and found that patients may not be communicating about symptoms they are experiencing and how they feel with their physicians.[3] Here are five simple tips to help take a more active role in managing your psoriatic arthritis:

1. Get It Down on Paper.

From the patient’s perspective, the burden of disease is substantial.[4] Within the PsA Narrative survey, 98% (n=294/301) of patients reported experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms in the past 12 months.[5],[1]b The PsA Narrative survey defined musculoskeletal symptoms of psoriatic arthritis as joint pain, joint swelling, joint tenderness, inflammatory back pain (back pain/stiffness), enthesitis, dactylitis and joint damage.[6] Consider keeping a journal to help you provide accurate updates to your doctor on your psoriatic arthritis symptoms. This is valuable information that your doctor can use to decide whether any treatment modifications should be made.

2. Think Ahead!

Ahead of your appointment, create a list of questions or set of goals you want to discuss with your doctor. Remember that it’s okay to ask questions about psoriatic arthritis outside of your physical symptoms — the PsA Narrative survey showed over 9 out of 10 (n=277/301) patients say that psoriatic arthritis has negatively impacted their emotional and mental wellbeing.[7] While these can be tough topics to discuss, see if it’s possible to give your doctor a heads up about these questions before your appointment to help them prepare answers and provide the right resources.

3. Don’t Go It Alone.

Asking for help might be difficult at first, but it’s important to remember that your loved ones need to understand how they can support you. Have someone from your care circle attend appointments with you. They can share updates on your symptoms that you may have forgotten, provide different perspective on the severity of your symptoms, or simply act as a source of support in the waiting room. It can be difficult to remember everything that your doctor says, so this person can also act as a second set of ears by taking notes.

4. Rally Your Team.

Just like many people living with psoriatic arthritis, you may be working with several healthcare professionals to manage your symptoms, including a dermatologist, rheumatologist, physical therapist, mental health provider and nutritionist.[8] Therefore, having your team work together is key. But don’t forget that you play a pivotal role in ensuring a collaborative approach to your care. You can lead your healthcare team by: sharing copies of all your tests and lab results so everyone has the same information; connecting members of your team, such as your rheumatologist and physical therapist to ensure communication of flare-ups; keeping a running list of your medications (your journal will help!); and always informing your entire team of your other psoriatic arthritis-related appointments.

5. Be Honest with Yourself and Others.

According to the PsA Narrative survey, some patients tell their rheumatologist that they are “fine” when they are still experiencing psoriatic arthritis symptoms.[9] Ultimately, relationships with your healthcare team should feel like partnerships, which is why you need and deserve to feel comfortable with your doctors. It is critical to ensure that you and your doctor work together to find a treatment option that works best for you. Much like any relationship, you need to feel both engaged and at ease with your doctors.

To learn more about the relationship and communication between people living with psoriatic arthritis and their healthcare providers, visit Pfizer’s PsA Narrative at www.pfizer.com/psanarrative.

[1] What is psoriatic arthritis? | National Psoriasis Foundation https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/psoriatic_arthritis_fact_sheet_1.pdf. Accessed April 2, 2018;a. Page 1/Paragraph 1/Lines 1-3b. Page 1/Paragraph 2/Line 1[2] Members of the Rheumatology Health Care Team | American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Health-Care-Team. Accessed April 2, 2018; Page 1/Paragraphs 1-3[3] DOF Pfizer. PsA Narrative US Patient Survey. New York, NY. Dec 2017.[4] Helliwell, P. Qualifying unmet needs and improving standards of care in psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis Care Res. 2014;66:1759-1766; Page 6/Column 1/Paragraph 3/Lines 1-2[5] PsA Narrative US Patient Survey (Banner 2) p32/Q720[6] DOF Pfizer. PsA Narrative US Patient Survey. New York, NY.[7] DOF Pfizer. PsA Narrative US Patient Survey. New York, NY.[8] Members of the Rheumatology Health Care Team | American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Health-Care-Team. Accessed April 2, 2018; Page 1/Paragraphs 1-3[9] PsA Narrative US Patient Survey (Banner 2) p96/Q925

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