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Young IA Patients Opt For Treatments Helping Them Lead

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Young people suffering from inflammatory arthritis (IA) choose their treatment on the basis of its ability to “make life normal,” research conducted by Newcastle University has found. This means that young IA patients are concerned with what effect the treatment will have on their appearance, social life and well-being, both physical and mental.

IA is a term that covers a number of conditions, among them juvenile idiopathic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. These conditions may require aggressive treatment through biologic therapies. The treatment decision is of immense importance for young people but can also be extremely difficult to make: this is a critical time for both personal and disease development.

The Newcastle University research team conducted interviews with 25 IA patients aged 16 to 25. Their responses indicate that young people affected by IA evaluate biologic treatment on the basis of its potential to contribute to a normal life. Young people are aware of the potential long-term risk associated with biologic therapies but they are willing to take these risks for the sake of improving their life for the foreseeable future, the research report notes.

The answers also suggest that young IA patients often attach great importance to the emotional, social and vocational consequences attributable to the treatment´s side effects. In general, young patients value treatments which help them lead a normal life but it seems that the concept of “normal life” varies according to age, condition and treatment. The researchers note in conclusion that young people affected by IA need help and support in identifying the risks and opportunities associated with specific treatments so that they can make the right decision and complete the treatment.