Session Type: Poster Session B
Session Time: 8:30AM-10:30AM
Background/Purpose: I was experiencing joint pain especially in my wrists, which led me to see my physician for testing. Initially I was misdiagnosed with lupus. After a few months of seeing my physician and not feeling like I was being heard, I got a second opinion. This led to further testing, and I was then diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2014. After attempting a few DMARDs, I was put on a DMARD treatment that works for me. Although I ended up getting the correct treatment for myself, the prior experience of being misdiagnosed and not feeling heard made me feel uncertain of who to trust. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt the same uncertainty and fear about who to trust, especially as I was getting so many different suggestions online from different news channels and from peers about what to do to keep safe as an RA patient. For example, was it safer to stop my RA treatment?
Intervention: Interacting with online articles from CreakyJoints Español, and the support I received from other CreakyJoints Español members, made me feel less anxious and more comfortable using the internet. This was especially true in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when I was getting contradictory information from news outlets and on social media. Luckily, the information I received through CreakyJoints Español was factual and helped me make decisions about my healthcare, including RA treatment decisions, with my doctor (Figure1). It made me feel less anxious and gave me confidence to get outside and walk regularly. Two Spanish-language articles that helped me during this time of uncertainty were:
- ACR guideline updates for patients
- Infographic and information on receiving care during the pandemic
Maintenance: I received COVID-19 information provided by CreakyJoints Español on their webpage and social media channels, and I was able to keep up to date on the ACR’s recommendations, including COVID-19 vaccination and treating my RA during the pandemic. CreakyJoints Español gave me a better understanding of how to take into account the CDC COVID-19 guidance while considering trustworthy information that was specific to people with RA. I am continuing to stay informed about any new developments that affect patients like me through CreakyJoints Español.
Quality of Life: I stay physically active for overall health and make sure to attend my telehealth appointments and in-person infusions. I learned the importance of staying healthy physically and mentally and I am comfortable knowing that I can reach out to CreakyJoints Español with questions and for social support. It’s important for me to stay informed about things that can affect RA and my quality of life throughout this pandemic and beyond. Having a trusted source of information has proved invaluable during this uncertain time.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Cruz W. How Online Spanish-Language Resources Got Me and My RA Through the COVID-19 Pandemic [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021; 73 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/how-online-spanish-language-resources-got-me-and-my-ra-through-the-covid-19-pandemic/. Accessed October 18, 2021.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/how-online-spanish-language-resources-got-me-and-my-ra-through-the-covid-19-pandemic/