Background The impact in the Spanish society of the rheumatic disease (RDs) is of 1 out of 5.
The rheumatic diseases are around 250 which affect all ages and can become chronic and be very invasive.
To raise awarness among or society about the social and emotional impact we decided to organize a exhibition of photography.
Objectives Get rid off myths about rheumatic disease from a positive perspective.
Methods The themes that were selected to be represented in the exhibition are the following:
1. Pregnancy and Maternity: On one hand some RDs increase the risk of miscarriage. On the other hand the need of medical treatment to control the disease makes more difficult to get pregnant.
2. Sexuality:Almost a third part of people with arthritis have difficulties in their sexual life because of the disease.
Pain, functional and articular impotence and the selfperception difficult secual relationships.
3. Work Life: RDs are the first cause of physical disability in the western world, according to the Health World Organization, and cause a big economic problem in our country, not because of the sick leaves or the disability pension but because it consumes a lot of sociosanitary resources.
This could be solved by making work policies more flexible with patient autocare.
Childhood affected by rheumatic diseases In Spain, between 8,000 and 10,000 children are affected by RDs, so an specialized attention is needed, according to the President of the Spanish Rheumatic Society (SERPE), because generally this pathologies are associated with old age.
Results Our organization elaborates this project with the intention of showing a new image of the person affected by the rheumatic disease, we leave morbidity behind and search beauty, symbology, sexuality, happiness and demonstrate that beyond illness there is another world, much richer and with variation in the life of a person with any type of disease.
For Galicia Rheumatic League, art is a therapeutical way of enriching the spirit that brings us happiness Therefore we give great importance to the performing arts, dance, painting, photography, cinema, theatre, etc. always with a double purpose: 1. raising awarness 2.- from a normalizing point of view.
All the people involved in this project overcame a personal challenge, the models where patients who where showing a very personal and sensitive part of their life in an image, the photographer trying to capture that important message with his camera, etc.
This exhibition was able to involve the patients family and their social environment as well as to catch the attention of politians and health professionals and is set to travel along the peninsula and abroad.
Conclusions Raising awarness presenting the rheumatic diseases normalized and integrated in our society.
This exhibition has been in diferent cities within the Galician region breaking prejudices and building a different image of the rheumatic disease seeing in the images of the exhibition people who transcend happiness above pain, overcoming the limitation, etc.
Eular Congress Paris 2015
Disclosure of Interest None declared