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Nowell emphasized that simple changes, such as targeted walking goals and meditative breathing, are low energy and low cost, yet extremely effective.
W. Benjamin Nowell, PhD, explains the clinical significance of cross-sectional survey evaluating an online wellness program designed for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), as well as the next steps for his team. Nowell is Director of Patient-Centered Research at the Global Healthy Living Foundation and affiliated with CreakyJoints. Data from the study, “Managing Psoriatic Arthritis: Patients’ Views and Attitudes to Using an Online Wellness Program,” were exhibited at the American College of Rheumatology Convergence 2022.
“What’s most important is that patients need to be made aware of the options,” Nowell underscored. “They have to learn about wellness to participate in wellness programs, especially programs that are really geared toward for them towards patients living with an autoimmune disease like psoriatic arthritis.”
The program highlighted some of the challenges that this patient population faces in both living with PsA and managing their disease. Nowell, who works in patient advocacy, believes it is important that clinicians let their patients know about available programs and to reiterate the importance of sleep, stress management, exercise, and nutrition. He emphasized that simple changes, such as targeted walking goals and meditative breathing, are low energy and low cost, yet extremely effective.
“It’s important to let people know that those kinds of wellness behaviors and lifestyle changes can be really impactful on their overall health and how good they feel living with the disease,” Nowell continued.
While healthier lifestyle choices are not a substitute for medications, these changes can work with an existing program to enhance treatment and help a patient feel better.
Investigators are still recruiting for the survey, which serves as an entry point for patients living with PsA to participate in an online wellness program with a trained e-coach via the Cleveland Clinic “Immune Strength” program. The survey revealed that most patients preferred an online health coach to guide them through wellness changes, in which they can periodically check in with their coach to stay accountable.