What does a new patient experience as symptoms develop and diagnosis is confirmed? Who is involved in the care of a newly diagnosed patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? The ARHP Practice Committee has developed a case study that will help answer these questions .
Meet Joy G., a 48-year-old woman with RA. Follow Joy through the course of her initial treatment, from symptom onset and diagnosis to stabilization of her condition with appropriate treatment. The impact of RA, as it affects Joy’s family, social and work lives, is explained.
The case study outlines the experience of a typical patient with RA. The study may be used by patients and family members and is an excellent teaching tool for healthcare providers and students. Components of Joy G.’s new patient visit are described, and the healthcare team members involved in her care are identified. The roles of the rheumatology team members are defined in the context of the office visit and linked to associated role descriptions elsewhere on the ACR website. An associated PowerPoint presentation is available for use in the classroom.
The Practice Committee is currently developing additional case studies for osteoarthritis and juvenile arthritis. To see what’s new, visit the ACR’s website.
Karen Duclon is a family nurse practitioner practicing in Clearwater, Fla., with Robert W. Levin, MD, Rheumatology. She is a member of the ARHP Practice Committee, which contributed to the development of this article.