Background It is well known that diagnose of most of the rheumatic diseases sometimes take several months or couple of years and more. Reasons for that could be quite different – lack of rheumatologist in the town and/or in the district; symptoms of the people with back pain, joints pain, etc. are considered as a problem with neurology or orthopedic origin.
Objectives Easier access to rheumatologist and early diagnosis of people who develop symptoms like joint pain and stiffness,back pain,fatigue.Education of JPs about syptoms of RA and AS and how to recognise them.
Methods These reasons for late diagnosis raised discussion between the patients' society and rheumatologists in order to find a way to reduce the time for diagnosing. Bulgarian organization of patients with rheumatic diseases (BOPRD) developed a project in order to facilitate the access to a rheumatologist. For that project a comparatively small district was chosen as a pilot district. It was district of Lovech. There is just one rheumatologist that was considered as a good and easy way to fallow and assess the results.
For the purpose of the project were developed special cards with 5 questions related to RA and it's symptoms and 5 questions related to AS and it's symptoms. These cards were given to the JPs.They had to ask the patients with back and joint pain and stiffness these questions.If they give positive answer to 3 of them it is enough to be send to a rheumatolgist
An educational seminar for the JPs from the Lovech district was organized where they were informed about the project and were given instructions how to manage it.Representatives of BOPD attended the seminar and talked about the project and it's objectives.
Results As a result 34 patients who had developed symptoms like back pain, joint pain and stiffness visited a rheumatologist and x-ray and blood tests were conducted.3 patients were diagnosed with RA;1 patient was diagnosed with AS;3 patients were diagnosed with gout;20 patients were diagnosed with polyarthrosis.
Conclusions The pilot phase of the project was really successful. In 2014 we intend to develop it in other districts of Bulgaria. As a result of the project 34 patients had easier access to specialist and were diagnosed earlier
Acknowledgements Snezhana Bozhinova;Bozhidar Ivkov;d-r Nikolai Nikolov
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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