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How Patients Can Raise Awareness for Rheumatoid Arthritis
People with RA and their loved ones can raise RA awareness by educating others or participating in events. Learn how to be an RA advocate. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that impacts a person’s joints and other parts of the body. Living with this painful inflammatory condition can be challenging. Fortunately, there are organizations working to promote RA
Posted on 23rd May, 2022 22:35 PM
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that impacts a person’s joints and other parts of the body. Living with this painful inflammatory condition can be challenging. Fortunately, there are organizations working to promote RA awareness.
Key annual milestones like Rheumatoid Awareness Day and Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month help put this chronic disease—which affects more than 1 million people in the United States—on the map. Remember, you don’t have to be a community activist or politician to get involved and spread the word about RA.
This article provides an overview of the RA advocacy movement and ways people can get involved through education, research, or social support.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Efforts
Increasing awareness is the first step in educating others about RA and its unique challenges.
In fact, research has shown that a lack of public awareness and patient education about RA can create gaps in medical care and delay people from seeking necessary medical advice, resulting in inadequate treatment. Greater recognition surrounding the disease can help make strides towards the goal of treating as many people as possible and working toward a cure for RA.
Fortunately, several different organizations are raising awareness about this condition, providing an opportunity for people to take action as they desire.
Like other medical conditions, there are several designated events throughout the year to signify the importance of RA for people living with the condition, healthcare professionals, and the general public. These dates also help provide support for people who have been diagnosed with RA through funding and research efforts to improve treatments and care.
These dates include:
February 2 is Rheumatoid Awareness Day.
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month.
September marks Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month.
Social media is a significant driver in increasing global understanding of diseases, including RA. It's also an effective way to get health issues noticed by lawmakers and other community leaders who often have the power to promote important topics to the top of the legislative agenda.
Online platforms and virtual social media events enable people living with RA (and the people who advocate for them) to discuss the disease and share trusted education resources without having to leave their homes or living space.
Likes, hashtags, shares, and other forms of collective engagement are key for disease awareness on social media. Powerful social media platforms for engagement include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube.
There are several patient advocacy groups and professional societies in the U.S. that function to provide support, information, and awareness for people with RA and others seeking to learn more about the disease. Such organizations help streamline advocacy efforts by tracking legislation and research efforts that affect the lives of people with RA.
These local grassroots groups and national foundations include:
Many people are already familiar with the pink ribbon to signify breast cancer awareness. Similarly, RA has its own symbol to raise awareness, elevate support for RA education, and promote compassion for people who live with this chronic condition.