Background The EULAR youth task force has started its own network of young people with RMDs aged 18-35 years in Europe. This network is called Young PARE. The impact of RMDs on young people is often neglected. Therefore, all stakeholders, including EULAR, national patient organizations, disease specific umbrella organizations, health providers and policy makers should give more attention to this specific target group. We believe that the youth perspective will make a difference in EULAR.
Objective The youth strategy addresses the needs of youth groups and PARE organisations to improve the services to young people with RMDs by enhancing international collaboration and integrating the perspective of young people with RMDs in EULAR.
Method The PARE youth strategy is based on the PARE youth research project. Based on the data of this research, the task force developed 8 country fact sheets and during a two-days international youth strategy meeting in October 2014, 27 youth representatives discussed the outcomes of the entire youth research project and gathered input for the development of the PARE youth strategy. The youth task force formulated a vision and mission and 8 strategic objectives, including sets of suggested actions and a more detailed proposal for implementation.
Results Vision: EULAR Young PARE aims to improve the quality of life of young people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).
Mission: EULAR Young PARE aims to establish and strengthen national youth groups all over Europe, create and support the European network of youth groups to exchange best practices, empower youth leaders and ensure that the voice of young people with RMDs is heard on all levels of society.
By 2020, national youth leaders are integrated into EULAR, especially the EULAR Standing Committee of PARE.
By 2020, there is more awareness in society of the specific needs of young people with RMDs.
By 2020, health care services are interdisciplinary, more holistic and focused on the need of tailor-made information, including social and psychological support for young people with RMDs.
By 2020, educational institutions across Europe are more flexible and assistive in supporting high quality education of young people with RMDs.
By 2020, employers and other stakeholders are more aware of the needs of young people with RMDs and young people receive more support to find a suitable job.
By 2020, Young PARE campaigns for societal changes that make the world more inclusive for young people with RMDs.
By 2020, every European country has an active national youth group* for young people with RMDs.
By 2020, PARE has established an active European network of national youth groups called Young PARE.
Conclusion Implementation cannot be done by one party only. It requires collaboration of all individuals and organizations that commit themselves to improve the quality of life of young people with RMDs. The joint efforts of EULAR, national organizations of patients, health professionals and scientific societies is needed to ensure that young people can live independently and receive support tailored to their specific circumstances.
Disclosure of Interest None declared