We will look at the association between obesity and rheumatoid arthritis and how the presence of excess weight impacts patient experience and response to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy. We will also briefly address current thinking surrounding the “obesity paradox.” Lastly, we will explore approaches to weight loss in patients who are overweight or obese and the general benefits of weight loss in this population.
We will take a look at current and anticipated guideline recommendations for treatment of PsA, the efficacy and safety of biologic and other agents, considerations in the selection and switching of therapy, and real-life practice trends.
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We will explore the current body of evidence addressing the use of DMARD monotherapy, specifically biologic and targeted synthetic small molecule therapies, in patients with RA. What do the guidelines say about when to prescribe biologics or small molecules, and is monotherapy with these medications ever recommended?
We will examine the pathophysiology of psoriatic arthritis, focusing on epidemiology, pathogenesis, and common presenting features of the disease. We’ll also review data reflecting the current diagnostic ability among rheumatology and dermatology providers.
We will look at the key components of the first several visits to a rheumatology practice for an individual with suspected or newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including the diagnostic and disease classification process as well as initial approaches to treatment for patients naïve to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
We will examine how SLE patients experience a flare, the varying symptoms of flares, and the options for their treatment. We will also take a look at the questions that nurses and nurse practitioners can ask patients with SLE at every visit—both related and unrelated to disease flares—to help monitor and manage potentially disruptive changes in disease activity.
We’ll take a look at how the treatment landscape in SLE is evolving, why the development of new therapies has historically been so frustrating, and how new breakthroughs are giving hope to the latest generation of patients with SLE.
We will explore emerging standards for the care of pregnant women with RA, including the role of new drug labeling rules and pregnancy registries in developing a better understanding of pregnancy-related drug safety. We will also explore considerations for women who are breastfeeding as well as for male patients with RA who are making family planning decisions.
We will provide an introductory level description of the basic immunology and pathophysiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that will allow rheumatology nurses and nurse practitioners to better understand and explain key concepts of SLE to their patients.