Monograph: Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis in Primary Care: Facilitating Improved Patient Outcomes
This monograph is a supplement to the JAAPA November 2018 issue and outlines the diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis. Also available, Clinical Dialogue and eCase Challenge Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis in Primary Care: Facilitating Improved Patient Outcomes.

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis in Primary Care: Facilitating Improved Patient Outcomes

Lawrence Herman, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA; Benjamin J. Smith, PA-C, DFAAPA; Colin C. Edgerton, MD, FACP, FACR, RhMSUS

Unfortunately, RA remains underdiagnosed in the primary care setting with many clinicians not following current treatment or vaccination guidelines. Timely diagnosis and treatment is crucial to preventing joint damage and attenuating inflammation and the associated impairment on physical function. PAs should review the clinical presentation of RA and how to make a differential diagnosis from other rheumatologic or autoimmune diseases. Given the complexity of therapies available, PAs should be knowledgeable about the advantages and limitations of conventional and biologic DMARD use, including specific considerations and recommended use according to American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) guidelines. PAs also play a critical role in the ongoing management of patients with RA. They should be adept at recognizing when disease activity is progressing and monitor patients accordingly. Additionally, because patients with RA are generally at a greater risk for infection and have a greater risk of certain comorbidities, PAs should review and implement vaccinations as outlined in current guidelines. PAs should also regularly monitor cardiovascular disease and other high-risk comorbidities. We need to remember that RA is not an isolated rheumatologic disease, but rather a systemic chronic disease that affects multiple organ systems.  

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
  • Discuss the presentation and differential diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Describe the advantages and limitations of various pharmacologic agents approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Outline monitoring and preventative treatment strategies for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Recognize and address signs and symptoms of uncontrolled disease.

Accreditation Statement


This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 1.50 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. Approval is valid through November 30, 2019.


Responsibility Statement

AAPA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Disclosure Policy Statement

It is the policy of AAPA to require the disclosure of the existence of any significant financial interest or any other relationship a faculty member has with the commercial interest of any commercial product discussed in an educational presentation. The participating faculty reported the following:

Faculty

Lawrence Herman, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA
Moderator
Associate Program Director, Adjunct Professor
University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
School of Medicine, PA Studies
Galveston, TX
Disclosure: No relationship with any commercial interests whose products or services may be mentioned during this presentation.

Benjamin J. Smith, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Director of Didactic Education
Florida State University College of Medicine
School of PA Practice
Tallahassee, FL
Rheumatology PA
McIntosh Clinic, P.C.
Thomasville, GA
Disclosure: Scientific Editor, ACR/ARHP Advanced Rheumatology Course

Colin C. Edgerton, MD, FACP, FACR, RhMSUS
Rheumatologist
Partner, Articularis Healthcare
Chair, ACR Committee on Rheumatologic Care
Charleston, SC
Disclosure: No relationship with any commercial interests whose products or services may be mentioned during this presentation.

Activity Planners

Michael Speidel and Joanne Jeffers, Medical Logix, LLC,  and Judy Crespi-Lofton, have no relationship with any commercial interests whose products or services may be mentioned during this presentation.

AAPA Staff Activity Planners

Daniel Pace has no relationship with any commercial interests whose products or services may be mentioned during this presentation.

Off-Label/Unapproved Product(s) Discussion

There are no references to off-label/unapproved uses of products in this program.

Disclaimer

The opinions and comments expressed by faculty and other experts, whose input is included in this program, are their own. This enduring material is produced for educational purposes only. Please review complete prescribing information of specific drugs mentioned in this program including indications, contraindications, warnings, and adverse effects and dosage before administering to patients.

Acknowledgement of Commercial Support

Supported by an independent educational grant from AbbVie and Amgen.  

AAPA offers no returns or refunds for online CME activities purchased through the AAPA store. All sales are final.


Type:     Internet Activity (Enduring Material)
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