What does a new patient experience as symptoms develop and diagnosis is confirmed? In juvenile arthritis cases, the process can be complex for the child, family and healthcare providers. The ARP Practice Committee has developed a persona-based case study to provide information and insight about this experience.
(Note: In business terms, personas are fictional characters created to depict reliable and realistic representations of customer groups. In healthcare, we use personas to represent typical patients. Although each patient is unique, rheumatic conditions have commonalities in patient demographics and presentation, symptomology, tests and procedures that need to be performed, diagnosis and treatment that can be described. We can learn a lot from persona-based case studies.)
JIA Case Study
Meet Elizabeth, an 8-year-old girl with a new diagnosis of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Follow Elizabeth from the initial presentation of her symptoms through diagnosis, treatment and the overall management of her case. Children with JIA can have widely varying experiences of the disease, but this case study describes a common beginning of the journey. It addresses the different professionals involved in her care and what she experiences during the first month of treatment.
The case study is designed as a teaching tool for healthcare providers and students, and can be shared with children and families. It includes links to additional information on the ACR website about rheumatology team members, descriptions of their roles and more. A PowerPoint presentation will be made available in coming months for use in a classroom or for a presentation.
The Practice Committee previously published a case study on rheumatoid arthritis and is currently developing one for osteoarthritis. Visit the ACR website to access current case studies and new ones as they are released.
Talitha Cox, OT, MA, is a pediatric occupational therapist practicing at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is a member of the ARP Practice Committee, which contributed to the development of this article.