Today, just over 50 % of RA patients are in employment three years after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This figure can be compared with 30 % in a similar follow-up of patients who became ill in the 1990s. At that time, early care measures had just been introduced and biological pharmaceuticals were not available. However, although the situation has improved for many patients, the TIRA (Early Measures for Rheumatoid Arthritis) project, with its unique possibility to compare, from a broad perspective, the functional impairment of today’s patients with those who fell ill in the 1990s, shows that many patients today report functional impairments and say they feel restricted by the disease insofar as they cannot do the things they would really like to do. This can be anything from lifting up a saucepan or playing with a grandchild to coping with their life situation or taking part in a sports event. Sometimes, these perceived restrictions seem strange since they exist even though, for instance, the activity of the disease is low and medication is functioning well.
In our research team, we have focused on mapping how and to what degree today’s patients feel restricted in their everyday lives and thereby feel they cannot participate or be involved in the way they would like. My vision for the future is that we will become even better at meeting the needs of patients and their family members and be able to offer tailor-made rehabilitation where the patient is the undisputed central figure.
Rheumatism patients’ ability to participate
The research theme includes the following research projects:
- Functional impairment of people with RA today
- Important Activities of Life
Other research projects
- Early Measures for Rheumatoid Arthritis (TIRA) project
- Member of the steering committee for the project
- National Register of Pain Rehabilitation (NRS) research team Clinical LUpus Register in Nordöstra Götaland (KLURING)
- Programme manager Occupational Therapist programme
- Supervisor of theses at first and second-cycle level