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RA patients not asking for help

One third of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not tell their nurse the true extent of their symptoms, research shows.

A poll of 400 people with RA found that only 19% confessed worries over treatment to their nurse and only one in four admitted they were worried that no other treatment options were available.

Dr Andrew Ostor at Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge said: "These findings make for worrying reading. We know the key to effective disease management is open and honest communication between patients and their clinician and these results suggest this isn't happening, leaving patients in unnecessary pain."

Sue Oliver, a nurse consultant in rheumatology commented: "We need to make sure we are encouraging patients to talk openly about their symptoms.

"Ensuring that they not only know what to expect from their current treatment but also what options are available should these not work.

"Only when we have open and honest communication with patients will we be able to make truly informed treatment decision, minimising the impact of this debilitating disease on the lives of those affected."