4 THINGS YOU SHOULD EDUCATE PATIENTS WITH AXIAL SPONDYLOARTHRITIS

4 THINGS YOU SHOULD EDUCATE PATIENTS WITH AXIAL SPONDYLOARTHRITIS

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Patient education plays a huge role in management of patients with axial spondyloarthritis as it helps in the adherence to exercises and lifestyle changes. While providing patient education we should start by checking what the foreknowledge of the patient is, depending on that we can adjust our information which we give to the patient and the patient can then translate it according to their personal situation.

By doing this we can make them susceptible to new information. It personalizes the education which also makes it more efficient and more effective, it provides insight about motivation, self efficacy and resistance towards behavior change and also about personal beliefs, health literacy, possibilities and preferences.

 

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Bas Hilberdink's lecture here:

Click here

 

 

4 THINGS TO EDUCATE PATIENTS WITH AXIAL SPONDYLOARTHRITIS

1) Disease and consequences

As axial spondyloarthritis is chronic in most cases, it is important to educate the patients regarding the symptoms, the consequences of the disease and its impact on physical and mental health and activities of daily living. It also includes educating about the increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

 

2) Physical activity and exercise

It includes educating about the importance of physical activity and exercise, your recommendations (how and when to exercise) and the safety regarding it.

 

3) Lifestyle changes and coping strategies

In people with early-stage AxSpA, cigarette smoking was associated with higher disease activity, more structural damage on radiographic tests, more inflammation, decreased functional ability, and lower quality of life.2

Thus, one of the important subjects of patient education includes smoking cessation. In addition to this patients should be educated about following a healthy diet, fall prevention and maintaining posture. Coping strategies for pain, stress and fatigue which are common symptoms in axial spondyloarthritis should also be included.

 

4) Guiding behavior change and self-management

Studies show that only advice is insufficient and approximately 50 % of patients do not adhere at all to the exercises. Therefore it is very important to guide patients through strategies like motivational interviewing in  order to improve exercise adherence for a long term.

 

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Bas Hilberdink's lecture here:

Click here

 

Sources:

1. ‘Physical therapy in Axial spondyloarthritis’ lecture by Bas Hilberdink

2. From the article 'Lifestyle Changes with Axial Spondyloarthritis’ – axialspondyloarthritis.net April 17, 2020

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