Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A multifaceted approach is essential for robust rehabilitation

An ongoing project concerning rehabilitation of children and adolescents with chronic arthritis

​​A research project by Anna-Helene Bohr,  MD Ph.D. Consultant at Dept. of Pediatrics at Slagelse Hospital.Affiliated with Dept. of Pediatrics at RH

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a disease defined as an unexplained chronic arthritis in a child below 16 years of age.

The prognosis for JIA, regarding joint destruction and disability, has changed significantly due to the emergence of effective anti-inflammatory treatment. However, approximately 50% of the patients will need ongoing medication far into adult life.

The prospect of having a potentially long-lasting chronic disease requiring continuing medication, with possible side effects, frequent clinical controls and fluctuating periods of pain can, by itself, for some patients lead to a passive and inactive lifestyle overshadowing the primary positive effect of the anti-inflammatory medication.
In these cases, it can be difficult for the patients, on their own, to resume a normal physically and mentally active lifestyle so important in childhood and youth and of great importance for general health in adulthood.

As primary caregivers in the treatment of patients with JIA, we hypothesize that a structured multifaceted treatment focusing individually on lifestyle and physical activity, alongside the anti-inflammatory medication, will empower patients having difficulties in coping with their disease, to obtain an early and robust rehabilitation.

A new project including all patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis living in both regions of Sjaelland is under preparation.

Responsible editor