Background Young people with arthritis in Germany already developed in 2010 a project to show how they have to deal with a pronounced lack of understanding according their disease (“Journey in the dark”, presented 2011 at EULAR congress in London). In connection to the demands of the “German Action Plan For Young People With RMDs” of 2012 (presented 2013 in Madrid) they now developed a new, extended project for public occasions.
Objectives The committee of young people with arthritis in Germany wanted to be able to make their restrictions sensible for everyone and underline their demands of better supports in public, even if the disease is not visible at once.
Methods The young people with arthritis of Germany created an interactive event which was presented as a marketing strategy at a shopping mall in Berlin in October 2012. They designed four tables, where interested people, who came along, were invited to feel the limitations and difficulties rheumatism includes. After visiting all tables interested people got some general information of RMDs with highlighting information about the German Action Plan for Young People with RMDs. The event was filmed in order to document it. A guideline was created, in order to simplify implementation of future events.
Results The people who visited the different tables were very impressed and said that they now had basis knowledge of RMDs, its limitations and especially problems of young people with this disease in their daily life. Their reactions have been documented in the film as well. The project has received a scholarship in Germany (www.startsocial.de).
Conclusions “Rheumatism – The invisible disease” is a unique way of making the situation of young and old people with arthritis not only visible but also sensible to others. The project managed to motivate people with arthritis in whole Germany to try similar ways of showing their problems and to help create a better understanding for their situation. “Rheumatism - The invisible disease” toured through Germany the last year and will be shown at many other different occasions during the coming years. It became a campaign of the whole “Deutsche Rheuma-Liga” without limitations in age or kind of disease.
References Rheumatism – The invisible disease.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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