Professional associations, including the ACR/ARHP, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) and American Psychological Association (APA), may also be able to provide guidance and/or recommend group consultants to deliver staff training and supervision.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2018
In the end, through experiencing the power and poetry of group, patients develop a more nuanced perspective and repertoire of tools with which to cope and manage the physical, psychosocial and existential challenges of living with a chronic illness.
To quote Alex, a 45-year-old information technology specialist with lupus: “I can’t imagine how scary and overwhelming this would be without this group—the people, the setting, the information, and the support it provides. I don’t feel alone, and I think this is a huge part of coping with my lupus.”
The ARHP Practice Committee purpose is to foster collaborative interprofessional practice throughout the continuum of care and enhance health professionals as the first point of contact to meet the needs of the consumer and to support rheumatology practices.
Joan Westreich, LCSW-R, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, is social work coordinator of the Early Arthritis Initiative at Hospital for Special Surgery. Her focus on patients with rheumatologic illness builds on two decades of experience as a clinician and consultant working with a diverse population of individuals, couples, groups and organizations.
- Combe B, Landewe R, Daien CI, et al. 2016 update of the EULAR recommendations for the management of early arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Jun;76(6):948–959.
- Lorig K, Holman H. Self-management education: History, definition, outcomes, and mechanisms. Ann Behav Med. 2003 Aug;26(1):1–7.
- Dures E, Kitchen K, Almeida C, et al. ‘They didn’t tell us, they made us work it out ourselves’: Patient perspectives of a cognitive-behavioral program for rheumatoid arthritis fatigue. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Apr;64(4):494–501.
- Karlson EW, Liang MH, Eaton H, et al. A randomized clinical trial of a psychoeducational intervention to improve outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Jun;50(6):1832–1841.
- Williams EM, Penfield M, Kamen D, Oates JC. An intervention to reduce psychosocial and biological indicators of stress in African American lupus patients: The balancing lupus experiences with stress strategies study. Open J Prev Med. 2014 Jan;4(1):22–31.
- Yalom ID, Leszcz M. The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, 5th ed. New York: Basic Books; 2005.
- Ndosi M, Bremander A, Hamnes B, et al. Validation of the educational needs assessment tool as a generic instrument for rheumatic diseases in seven European countries. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Dec;73(12):2122–2129.
*Note: All patient information/stories are de-identified and composites of several patients.