October 12, 2007 was World Arthritis Day and, while it has already come and gone, we think this is a great opportunity for our community members to discuss how Rheumatoid Arthritis affects their lives or the lives of a loved one. This year's theme was "Small Things Matter" and we encourage all of you to submit a SharePost describing what small things matter the most to you!
World Arthritis Day should really be called European Arthritis Day because so far, only European countries participate. But I am writing about it again this year because I appreciate the work of the organizations that sponsor World Arthritis Day. Those groups are: Arthritis/Rheumatism International (ARI), International Organisation for Youth with Rheumatism (IOYR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Social Leagues. The goals of World Arthritis Day are to raise awareness in Europe about all forms of arthritis among the medical community, people with arthritis and the general public; to influence public policy; and to raise awareness of supportive services and networks available to people with arthritis and caregivers.
Last year, the theme was exercise. Pamphlets are still available on the website offering tips and guidance for exercising with RA and other forms of arthritis. This year, the theme is "Small Things Matter" and 26 countries are participating with events and public policy and awareness campaigns this year. In addition, there are two major World Arthritis Day projects available on the website. One is a personalized Health Passport to help you and your doctor make the most of your consultations and the second are video diaries, where PARE Manifesto/EULAR Social Leagues are able to produce short campaigning films made by people with arthritis talking about their personal challenges.
The passport provides space to write down medications, therapies and any other treatments you receive and a monthly record where you can note any changes in your health and ability to carry out your daily activities. The passport also offers a consultation/physician visit sheet and offers suggested questions you may want to ask your doctor or other health provider. I especially like the video diaries. In this pilot project, people were selected to record the small but important things they have to tackle every day such as trying to carry groceries, keep house, or access public transportation. The 2 and 4 minute diaries will be edited together to create public awareness films for the public, policy makers, health providers, planners and designers.
For more information about World Arthritis Day, to participate in their international "Small Things Matters" survey, or to access the Health Passport and video diaries, see http://www.worldarthritisday.org/index.php
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Published On: October 11, 2007