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23rd August 2023 Arthritis

World-first care guidelines for arthritis


People living with arthritis are benefiting from a world-first development aimed at helping doctors provide the most up-to-date treatment advice for inflammatory arthritis.

Thanks to funding from The Hospital Research Foundation Group, two “Living Guidelines” for managing rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis have been developed and are now used in clinical care across Australia and internationally.

Living Guidelines are well-known in the healthcare industry to be guidelines that are updated as soon as new evidence emerges. They help doctors provide the most reliable, up-to-date recommendations to their patients.

Rheumatologist Dr Sam Whittle (pictured) from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Professor Rachelle Buchbinder from Monash University, have led the development of the guidelines, which have since been approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

“We are proud to have developed these world-first Living Guidelines to help doctors and patients receive the best treatment for adults and children with inflammatory arthritis,” Dr Whittle said.

“The guidelines are now available online and free to use.

“The recommendations cover topics that were voted to be the most important in treating these diseases, including when to reduce the amount of arthritis medications in people who have responded very well to treatment.

“Our guidelines have been approved by the NHMRC, which means that they have met a very high standard for quality, and some of the recommendations will be incorporated into the next edition of Therapeutic Guidelines Rheumatology.”

“We are so grateful for The Hospital Research Foundation Group’s support to get these up and running to improve care for people living with musculoskeletal conditions.”

Dr Whittle and his team are now excited to increase uptake of the guidelines, while continuing to maintain and expand their scope.

We’re proud to be supporting this important work, alongside our Group charity The Hospital Research Foundation Group – Arthritis.