Developmentally-appropriate care for young people with rheumatic disease


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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The first objective evaluation of an evidence-based rheumatology transitional care programme was conducted almost 20 years ago. While the learning has been built upon, its translation into clinical practice continues to be challenging, a viewpoint reported in Lancet Rheumatology .

With the growth of paediatric rheumatology, the advent of biologic therapies, and the promise of innovative treatment strategies, care of adolescents and young people with rheumatic musculoskeletal disease has changed substantially.

Important aspects for young people with rheumatic musculoskeletal disease are; general issues of attendance and therapy adherence, physical and medical issues, psychological and social issues, educational and vocational issues.

Crucial aspects of developmentally appropriate health transitional care in rheumatology have been identified and expanded from; attention to bio-psychosocial development, holistic care, acknowledging adolescents and young adults as a distinct group, dynamic adjustment of care, embedding health education and health promotion into routine clinical care, effective interdisciplinary and inter-organisational working practices.

There is great potential for further research in this area to identify issues and possible solutions to overcome them.

Whether recent international guidance from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) will be more effective for change remains to be seen. The rheumatology community needs to shift its mindset to developmentally appropriate health care.