Improving communication between young people and clinicians about pain in arthritis

Disease - Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Lead applicant - Dr Rebecca Lee

Organisation - University of Manchester

Type of grant - Foundation Fellowship

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £181,594.00

Start date - 01 January 2020

Reference - 22433

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Communication about pain between children or young people with arthritis and their healthcare professional is important for pain management, but there are several reasons for why this does not always occur in paediatric rheumatology clinics. This project aims to explore why this communication is not always effective and hopes to develop materials to help healthcare professionals overcome these issues and communicate about pain better with their patients.

Why is this research important?

Pain can be unpredictable for those with arthritis (in terms of what it feels like, where it is and how long it lasts), which makes it difficult to discuss and tell others about.

Pain is one of the most challenging features of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) for children and young people, and for many pain will persist even when the condition appears well. Reducing pain is a priority for those with JIA but just having the opportunity to communicate about pain symptoms with their clinician is known to improve patients’ well-being even if complete relief is not possible.

How will the findings benefit patients?

It is hoped the findings from this research will be practically applied to address the issues of poor pain assessment and communication in clinics. This could lead to new approach for clinical communication practices across paediatric rheumatology, aiming to improve care and ultimately deliver better pain management for children and young people in the future.