Background The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is committed to empowering those affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and improving understanding around disease management. In 2013 we conducted a survey entitled “What does remission mean to you?”, to uncover the views of people with RA, looking at the term “remission”, what it means to them and their understanding of Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS 28). Over 1,100 people took part, indicating the subject is important for those with this life changing condition.
Objectives We decided to develop the project further by creating a website for people with RA to share their idea of remission, thereby raising awareness of the need for improved disease management and highlighting that remission is not just a clinical definition.
Methods We filmed 5 videos of patients talking about remission and DAS 28. We also set up video booths at 3 patient and healthcare professional events, recording what remission meant to the visitors. We then worked with our website developers to create a photo wall called the “Remission Mission” where these videos could be showcased, and giving users the opportunity to upload a photograph and message of what remission means to them. We asked celebrities connected with RA to take part, helping us reach a wider audience. The site was designed to reflect the DAS 28 materials and our website. At our Annual Conference we collected photos and messages from attendees to populate the site before its launch in October 2014, just before World Arthritis Day.
Results People with RA, their family, friends and healthcare professionals are still contributing to the Remission Mission and the engagement has already been encouraging. In the first month alone there were 2,500 visits to the site with 150 people taking part in the call to action. The majority of users so far have been in the 18-35 age group and with an equal split between men and women taking part. We expect participation to increase as we continue to promote the campaign through our social media channels and website, with the goal of 500 people joining the mission by World Arthritis Day 2015.
Conclusions The “What does remission mean to you?” developing into the “Remission Mission” campaign highlights the impact of RA on the lives of those with the disease as well as their family and friends, and increases understanding that remission means something different for each individual. It encourages them to improve communication with their medical team in order to achieve better outcomes in the management of their condition. NRAS and Roche will now review the materials on DAS and develop our information on remission.
Acknowledgements This work was funded by Roche & Chugai.
Disclosure of Interest R. Grosart Grant/research support from: Roche & Chugai, A. Bosworth Grant/research support from: Roche & Chugai, C. Jacklin Grant/research support from: Roche & Chugai