Understand RA biologic treatment options.

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RA biologic
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Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers stroll a New Zealand beach

Your Carer

Your Key Carer+

The role of your key carer

A key carer is someone that you choose to be part of your healthcare team. They could be a family member, trusted friend or someone you know well in the healthcare industry. Your key carer can go with you to your medical appointments, take notes, ask questions and help you communicate with the doctor. They can help make sure that you understand and remember what was discussed. Key carers can also communicate with friends and family about you and your RA, so that you don’t have to repeat yourself over and over.

Additional Resources +

Self Assessment Tool. Use our interactive Self Assessment Tool to track joint tenderness and swelling, pain and fatigue over time. You can then see how well your treatment it working for you. You can also send your results directly to your nurse specialist.

Appointment Checklist. Good communication with your doctor can improve your health care. All questions are powerful and help build understanding. The more questions you ask, the more you will know your RA and the more control you will have over it. Click here to read and download a printable question checklist that you can take with you to your appointment.

Questions to Ask Your Medical Team. Going to see your doctor or nurse can be a little scary, especially if you are worried they might not ‘get’ what you’ve been going through. Use some of the questions below to help get your point across. You can also send your nurse the results of your Self Assessment Tool ahead of time, so they can see what’s been happening for you. Don’t be afraid to ask general questions about RA too, your medical team is there to help.

  • How does RA affect my body?
  • What will happen to my joints over time?
  • What will my quality of life be?
  • What sort of advice do you have for me on how to manage:
    • My pain
    • My fatigue
    • Swelling
    • My lifestyle …?
  • What sort of treatment do you think will work best for me?
  • How does this treatment work in my body?
  • How long will it be before I start to notice changes from taking this treatment?
  • What sort of lab tests/blood tests will I need to have?
    • How often should I have these?
    • Will you remind me to have them, or should I put them in my diary now?
  • How will I know if my treatment isn’t working? What should I do?
  • What sort of side effects are possible from my treatment?
    • What can I do about these side effects?
  • Is there anything I should avoid while taking my treatment?
  • Should I tell other doctors that I’m taking RA treatment?
  • How often should I make an appointment to see you?
    • How can I change this appointment if I need to see you sooner?
  • If my current treatment isn’t working what other treatment options are available?

Click here to download this discussion guide as a PDF to print and take to your appointment. It includes a space to write your own questions.

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Unable to continue registration

I'm sorry, only patients with rheumatoid arthritis are able to use this site so we are unable to register you. You could try talking to your medical team about other ways you can track your symptoms, such as using a diary or a smartphone app.

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