The medical treatment of people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) has improved enormously over the past decades. As medical treatment is not completely successful or available for all rheumatic conditions or individual patients, and the demands society imposes on people to participate fully are increasing, there is a substantial proportion of people with RMDs who have functional disabilities.
Health professionals (HPs) play an essential role in the management of people with RMDs with disabilities by enabling to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social functional levels. They provide people with the tools they need to attain independence and self-determination. As such, their contribution is in line with the World Health Organisation definition of rehabilitation [http://www.who.int/topics/rehabilitation/en/]. An important feature of rehabilitation is its multidisciplinarity. Over the past decades, it has been more and more acknowledged that HPs' role in the management of people with RMDs concerns a team effort rather than the summation of single interventions by individual HPs or specific professions. This view is reflected in multiple guidelines and standards of care for the clinical management of RMDs, where the need for people with RMDs to have access to a multidisciplinary team of HPs is underlined.
The acknowledgement of the importance of the team of HPs runs in parallel with developments in the organization and activities of HPs within EULAR over the past years.
In connection with EULAR, there is a growing network of HPs from multiple professions across Europe. By working together, and collaborating with patients and rheumatologists and other physicians, EULAR HPs have achieved multiple milestones with respect to the quality of clinical care, education, and research over the past years and are equipped to encounter future challenges.
Disclosure of Interest None declared