15:04 PM

For Your Patients: How to Cope With Rheumatoid Arthritis

MedPage Today discusses how a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can bring serious physical and emotional challenges to a patient, and includes guidance from Adena Batterman, LCSW, senior manager, Inflammatory Arthritis Support and Education at HSS.

Batterman explained, “The diagnosis for many represents a crisis, an altered sense of self: from seeing oneself as a well person to one who now has a chronic illness.”

She continued, “Changes in relationships, work, family, and social roles, the loss or reduced ability to perform valued activities, are part of learning how to re-imagine and restructure life.”

According to Batterman, “Managing RA entails learning about this systemic illness and treatment (e.g., side effects, etc.), how to live with and manage chronic unpredictable pain, profound fatigue, comorbidities, and functional limitations, all while navigating complex healthcare systems and insurance issues and finding a healthcare provider one trusts.”

Batterman underscored an individualized approach for each patient.  “It's important to explore what approach resonates for each patient, what has worked (or not) in the past, and as a practical matter, what is accessible to them both geographically and financially.”

Read the full article at Medpagetoday.com.