What’s the evidence on tackling fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis?

Key message: There is some evidence that physical activity and talking treatments can help people with rheumatoid arthritis manage fatigue. We don’t have enough evidence to say which elements of these types of interventions are most effective, nor whether other non-drug approaches are also helpful.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. It’s the second most common type of arthritis in the UK population. Key symptoms are painful, swollen joints, but fatigue (extreme mental and/or physical tiredness) is also a problem for many people who have RA. There’s currently no cure for RA and no accepted evidence-based guidelines on how best to manage this condition. Non-pharmacological interventions, that’s alternatives to prescribed drugs such as exercise and psychotherapies or ‘talking treatments’, have been found to help people with a range of long-term conditions manage fatigue and now a new review from the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group has looked at whether this is so for adults with RA. Continue reading

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We’ve got a handy checklist for live tweeting from events. Have you?

Academic conferences will never be the same again now we have the powers of social media at our fingertips. I blogged about this transformation in the spring, in the wake of our Cochrane UK and Ireland Symposium and Evidence Live. From the comments this generated and the helpful links people shared on the blog, it’s not just me who’s excited about this and keen to explore its possibilities and participate in events in new ways. If you haven’t yet tried live tweeting, or have yet to be convinced, do read it and check out some of the links. What I want to do here is suggest an aide memoire to help you make the most of live tweeting, when your brain’s fizzing with what you’re hearing, not to mention the jet lag, and there are a zillion people, screens, meetings, food, freebies and goodness knows what else clamoring for your attention. (Ok, you are probably an academic who can filter out all the frivolous stuff and yes I’m up for paperless conferences, but please let there be a nice conference bag and a great lunch!).  Continue reading