Rheumatic diseases are a group of disorders of the joints and soft tissues, causing pain and, in many cases, physical disability. While they affect people of all ages, their impact can be especially profound in children. Collectively, they are among the most common and chronic conditions of childhood. Although we have much to learn about the causes, risk factors, treatment and prevention of these diseases in children, important information already exists.
"There are unique challenges that the rheumatic diseases present in children," says NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. "The CD-ROM will provide doctors, as well as nurses and other health professionals, with a wide range of resources and information to help them better understand these diseases and how to manage them."
Resources on this CD-ROM include:
- A collection of print-friendly PDF files of selected patient education brochures Professional education resources, including information from the Arthritis Foundation's Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases (12th edition)
- Professional educational resources on osteogenesis imperfecta from the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center
- Web links to numerous useful resources from the National Institutes of Health and other federal and nonprofit organizations.
In a prelaunch review of the new CD-ROM by a variety of healthcare professionals, reviewers overwhelming approved the content and indicated they intend to read the literature to become better informed, distribute it to patients and families of patients, share it with colleagues, and recommend it to other pediatric healthcare professionals, says Dr. Katz. Overall, the reviewers were also able to easily navigate the CD-ROM.
Although the primary audience of the CD-ROM is pediatric health professionals and Arthritis Foundation chapter staff and volunteers, copies will also be available for parents of children with rheumatic diseases, primary and secondary school teachers and counselors, faculty at health professions schools and nonprofit organizations serving individuals and families with rheumatic diseases.
"The welfare and care of children with rheumatic diseases is a priority for the Arthritis Foundation," says John H. Klippel, M.D., Arthritis Foundation president and CEO. "We are pleased to collaborate with NIAMS to develop a product that will help health care professionals better understand these diseases in children and, thus, better enable them to provide children with rheumatic diseases the help they need."
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For additional information, call NIAMS' Clearinghouse toll free at 1-877-22-NIAMS, or visit the NIAMS Web site at www.niams.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.