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Support groups have been formed for people living with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. There is sufficient evidence that arthritis support groups can provide multiple benefits including:-
There are several types of support groups available. While some are closed and unavailable to the public without preregistration, others are online chat sites and are open to all.
Some support groups are peer that are led by a fellow patient who focuses on sharing experiences, and learning from others’ experiences. Some support groups are educational and they focus on an expert’s presentation with questions from sufferers that are answered by the expert in the field.
Some things to consider while joining a group include group size and changing needs. While a large group means more experiences, a smaller group may be more intimate and friendly. With age the needs for emotional and moral support change and the support group that is chosen needs to cater to these needs to be effective.
To look for support groups one may go about in two ways. For online support, blogs, forums and social networking sites may be searched and for live groups the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation may be sought for classes and support groups. Physicians and rheumatologists may also help patients choose their support groups.
Some of the support groups suggested by National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) for United Kingdom include:
Support and information in United States of America may be found at: