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Arthritis study targets community nurses

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Nurses are set to benefit from new research that aims to improve knowledge and awareness of rheumatoid arthritis among health professionals.

Researchers at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Bone and Joint Research Group have been awarded almost £50,000 by the charity Arthritis Research UK to improve the knowledge of arthritis among district and practice nurses and nurses working in care homes.

Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists and podiatrists working in the community will also be targeted as part of the research project, which will be led by rheumatologist Professor Anthony Woolf

Professor Woolf: “People with arthritis receive most of their healthcare… in their communities. Most of these health providers don’t have special training in arthritis, and there’s very little evidence about the education these health professionals need in order fulfil these roles.”

He said: “The first aim of this research is to find out what education these health professionals need so that they are better able to understand, recognise and care for people with arthritis.

“The project is also looking at the barriers to health professionals receiving this training and how we might overcome them,” he added.

Professor Woolf and his team will recruit arthritis patients from Cornwall, Exeter and Bristol to take part in focus groups on what health workers need to know to enable them to care for them effectively.

The research findings will be used to develop training for community-based nurses and other health professionals.


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