What are the goals and principles of management in the early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis?
Patient Care Management
The management of patients with new-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA) requires an awareness of the potential issues and needs that are unique to each patient with regards to their perceptions of their disease, physical needs and nutritional issues. Arthritis specialists should have a clear approach to the goals of management that are specific to patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA). In this chapter, evidence for the goals and principles of management in the early treatment of RA is discussed. Patient education, the role of self-management, physical therapies, exercise, diet and drug management are addressed. This chapter aims to provide clinicians with a clear understanding of which interventions have supporting evidence and where further research is required. Where evidence for patients with ERA is lacking, evidence from patients with established RA is reviewed.