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A Bridge Between Patients & Rheumatologists: What Social Workers Want Rheumatologists to Know

The Rheumatologist spoke to rheumatology social workers from across the country to learn how rheumatologists can better partner with social workers as part of an interdisciplinary team, to ensure better patient outcomes.

Adena Batterman, MSW, LCSW, senior manager of inflammatory arthritis support and education programs at HSS, explained how social workers provide ongoing patient support, and are trained to provide psychosocial assessments, which evaluate patients as a whole in the context of their personal experiences. “This approach helps us to understand the patient’s needs and strengths, to support them in managing and coping with their illness,” said Batterman. “Many patients may benefit from a support group or short-term counseling with a social worker or other mental health provider.”

Additionally, Batterman discussed the monthly support groups she facilitates with a rheumatology nurse manager for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients at HSS, citing these professionally led support groups provide a safe forum in which people with RA can share their experiences, challenges, and receive support from their peers. “The feedback we’ve received from patients in formal group evaluations is that, as a result of the group, they feel they can make informed decisions about their RA and are more prepared to discuss their RA treatment with their doctors,” cited Batterman.

Read the full article at the-rheumatologist.org.