In recent years the prevalence of rheumatic diseases has raised leading to increased outpatient activity; at the same time, a general lack of rheumatologists has been described (1). This has created new demands from patients and the health care system towards innovative models of care, e.g. nurse-led follow-up (2), direct access strategies (3) and tele-health interventions (1). In the future this will call for extended and specialized roles for health-professionals within rheumatology, and for future development of compatibility of training of health professionals within the European countries.
Further, the current health-service development is confronting the population with increasing demands to understand and utilize health information and to navigate through this increasingly complex healthcare system. It requires that patients are capable of understanding and managing their health, and calls upon a strong focus on health-literate (HL) skills, and the formation of so-called HL organizations (4). In the future, health professionals within rheumatology will have a key role in supporting the development of HL responsive organizations through self-management strategies and patient centered care.
The present presentation will address some of these future demands for health professionals in Rheumatology
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Hewlett S, Kirwan J, Pollock J, et al. Patient initiated outpatient follow up in rheumatoid arthritis: six year randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2005 Jan 22;330(7484):171.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared