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During the past years two new organisations have been created to support development in the field of paediatric rheumatology, the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES) and the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation (PRINTO). Together with the EULAR Standing Committee on Paediatric Rheumatology, these organisations form a strong network for the promotion of research, education, and clinical development in paediatric rheumatology in Europe. An important task for the standing committee is to form a strong link between rheumatologists primarily caring for adults and those who primarily care for children in order to exchange knowledge, and in all aspects facilitate fruitful collaboration between the different organisations.
At the yearly meeting of the standing committee in Nice, June 2000, there was a consensus on the wish to arrange the yearly PRES meeting concurrently with the yearly EULAR congress to be held in Stockholm in June 2002. A similar wish was stated by the PRES general assembly held in Geneva, September 2000. The EULAR Executive Committee were supportive of this idea, and it has now been decided that PRES will have its yearly meeting integrated into the EULAR Congress in Stockholm. The programme is already being assembled, and there will be integrated sessions for adult and paediatric rheumatologists as well as sessions arranged primarily for paediatric rheumatologists by PRES. We hope this will be an excellent opportunity to meet, network, and exchange knowledge.
Successful clinical research has been initiated by PRINTO, supported by EU grants. Validation of the Child Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) and Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) has been concluded in most European countries and will soon be published in a supplement toClinical and Experimental Rheumatology. The validated questionnaires form important parts of “the core set of outcome” for studies of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) proposed by a working group in PRINTO. A multicentre trial on parenteral methotrexate in medium versus higher doses in children with JIA has been successfully concluded using the abovementioned “core set of outcome”. In April 2001 a consensus conference on core set of outcome measures for juvenile systemic erythematosus and juvenile dermatomyositis was held with representatives from 40 nations.
PRES has worked actively on educational issues. Paediatric rheumatology is now a UEMS subsection of the Confederation of European Specialists in Paediatrics and a syllabus and training programme have been approved by UEMS. Work is in progress on training records and accreditation of centres.
PRES held a successful scientific meeting in Geneva in September 2001, with 400 delegates, and the abstracts were published by theAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases(2001;60:suppl II). The next yearly meeting will be held in Utrecht, 27–30 September 2001. A special meeting for young investigators will be held in conjunction with the PRES meeting.
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