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Call for psychological support for arthritis patients

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Access to psychological support and self-management courses could help people with arthritis and rheumatism cope more effectively with their condition and achieve a better quality of life, according to a survey.

The online survey of 3,600 healthcare professionals and people with rheumatic disease from across the world highlighted the importance of integrating psychological support into the standard treatment regime.

Findings show that 97% of patients and carers think that the condition causes emotional problems and 5% said it may lead to depression.

Only 35% said they raise the emotional impact of the condition with their doctor.

Health professionals were aware of the psychological impact of arthritis and rheumatism, with 71% saying patients bring the problem up during a consultation and 33% saying they refer patients to specialist treatment and 22% suggesting a self-management course.

The online survey was part of a project run by the European League Against Rheumatism and the Standing Committee of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe, to coincide with World Arthritis Day.

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