MyHealthTeams provides real-world insights into RA’s common symptoms, flare-up triggers, and quality-of-life-impact
SAN FRANCISCO — March 19, 2020 — MyHealthTeams, creator of the largest and fastest-growing social networks for people facing chronic health conditions, today unveiled new research conducted among registered members of myRAteam, the social network for people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Key findings spanned topics including patient satisfaction with their doctors, the impact RA has on quality of life, and common symptoms and flare-up triggers.
“Joint pain is just the tip of the iceberg for those living with rheumatoid arthritis. You’ve got to treat the whole person, not just their obvious symptoms,” said Eric Peacock, cofounder and CEO of MyHealthTeams. “RA patients in this research made it clear that the best rheumatologists are those who take the time to truly understand the full range of symptoms and the quality of life impact people with RA are experiencing. The gap between patients satisfied and dissatisfied with their doctors was stark.”
Patient Satisfaction: Determined by listening/understanding, time spent, and breadth of discussion
There is a high correlation between treatment satisfaction and doctor satisfaction, so if treatment isn’t working to control a patient’s RA, it’s unlikely she will be satisfied with her doctor. But treatment effectiveness isn’t the only driver. The study revealed a significant experience gap between those who are satisfied or not with their doctors. Among the 57% of RA patients who report overall satisfaction with their doctors: 87% feel their doctor listens to them and understands their needs; 81% believe their doctor spends enough time with them; 74% report their doctor addresses symptoms such as pain, depression and anxiety; 65% discuss treatment side effects with their doctor; and 52% say their doctor has worked with them to develop a long-term plan. Among the 43% of RA patients who report overall dissatisfaction with their doctors, these numbers drop to 24%, 26%, 20%, 29% and 12% respectively.
Impact on Quality of Life: Daily challenges and emotional impacts take toll at home, work and beyond
RA, a chronic inflammatory condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints, has wide-ranging impact on quality of life.
- 88% of myRAteam members surveyed report RA makes it difficult to do everyday chores
- 84% find it difficult to exercise with RA
- 78% say RA has a negative impact on their social life
- 65% report RA disrupts their work and/or education
- 62% find it difficult to be sexually active while living with RA
Further, the emotional toll of RA is significant.
- 83% of those surveyed report they can’t sleep
- 72% are dealing with depression
- 67% experience anxiety
Symptoms and Triggers: Aggravated by environmental factors, disease causes symptoms well beyond joint pain and stiffness
Beyond the joint pain and stiffness experienced by nearly everyone surveyed, myRAteam members report a broad spectrum of symptoms, including:
- Fatigue (93%)
- Dry eyes or mouth (72%)
- Irritability (62%)
- Headaches (54%)
The top reported triggers for flare-ups of RA symptoms are stress (79%) and cold weather (73%).
This research was conducted among registered members of myRAteam. 374 individuals responded to the online survey. Full survey findings are available at https://www.myrateam.com/resources/the-results-are-in-people-living-with-rheumatoid-arthritis-are-more-satisfied-with-their-doctors-when-they-feel-heard-and-understood
MyHealthTeams believes that if you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, it should be easy to find and connect with others like you. MyHealthTeams creates social networks for people living with a chronic health condition. Millions of people have joined one of the company’s 35 highly engaged communities focusing on the following conditions: Crohn’s and colitis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, pulmonary hypertension, spondylitis, eczema, myeloma, hyperhidrosis, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, leukemia, lymphoma, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, hemophilia, hidradenitis suppurative, depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, COPD, chronic pain, migraines, food allergies, obesity, HIV, PCOS, endometriosis, breast cancer and autism. MyHealthTeams’ social networks are available in 13 countries.