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EULAR Recommendations: Actively optimising patient care in rheumatism

07 December 2017 European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)

Contribution to and dissemination of key scientific findings in rheumatology are set out in the EULAR Recommendations – and translated into lay versions as well as local languages across Europe

The European League Against Rheumatism, EULAR, has made a significant contribution to the optimisation of patient care in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases by developing recommendations. With an archive dating back to the year 2000, almost 50 recommendations have been published to-date, all of which come from leading scientific sources in rheumatology and will have an impact on patient care across Europe. Some of the recommendations are also provided in lay summary format in order to promote understanding and access to knowledge at every level of society regarding rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Projects published focus on optimising patient care in rheumatism. These include findings from research conducted in diseases across the rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMD) spectrum (see list of recommendations, below). EULAR Recommendations are well-recognised by rheumatologists throughout the world and are actively integrated into daily practice, wherever possible.

All recommendations follow set EULAR Standardised Operating Procedures. EULAR also supports the development of task forces designed to elaborate recommendations in the field, and the EULAR Standing Committees regularly establish and publish recommendations for the diagnosis and/or treatment of various rheumatic disorders. Each recommendation is developed by a group of specialists, all of whom work on a voluntary basis. EULAR has also published recommendations for the management of several RMDs addressed to lay audiences.

Recent EULAR Recommendations published include:

·        EULAR Recommendations for the use of imaging in the clinical management of peripheral joint osteoarthritis

·        Update of EULAR Recommendations for the treatment of systemic sclerosis

·        EULAR Recommendations for the use of imaging in the clinical management of peripheral joint osteoarthritis

·        EULAR Recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis with synthetic and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs: 2016 update

·        2016 update of the ASAS-EULAR management recommendations for axial spondyloarthritis

·        2016 update of the EULAR Recommendations for the management of early arthritis

·        EULAR revised recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia

·        EULAR Recommendations for cardiovascular risk management in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases – 2015 / 2016 Update

·        Recommendations for the management of family planning, assisted reproduction, gestation, delivery and menopause in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome

·        Update of the EULAR Recommendations for the diagnosis and management of gout

EULAR considers it essential that recommendations reach all audiences – from rheumatologists, patients and patient organisations to healthcare professionals – in order to support all in understanding how to best manage an RMD. EULAR provides lay summaries of some of the recommendations, in English, and calls on all interested organisations to disseminate and translate them into their own language. EULAR also encourages national scientific organisations in rheumatology to translate the original recommendations into their own language and adapt them according to national requirements.

EULAR publishes its recommendations in its scientific journal, the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD), which is a leading international journal with an impact factor of 12.811.

In 2017, EULAR launched a campaign, ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’, designed to build awareness and understanding about the importance of early diagnosis and access to care in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases in society at large, #ConnectToday.

EULAR was founded in 1947 and held its first European Rheumatology Congress in September 1947 in Copenhagen with 200 delegates from 16 countries. The EULAR Congress 2017 in Madrid hosted more than 14,000 delegates from over 120 countries. With 45 scientific member societies, 36 national organisations of people with arthritis/rheumatism (PARE) and 23 health professional associations of all the European nations, EULAR underscores the importance of combating rheumatic diseases not only by medical means, but also through a wider context of care for rheumatic patients and a thorough understanding of their social and other needs.

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