What should be included in patient education about ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Patient education is essential in disease management. Teach patients about the long-term nature of the illness and the use and toxicities of medications. Inform patients that proper exercise programs are useful in reducing symptoms and increasing ROM. For patient education information, see the Ankylosing Spondylitis Directory.

Because of the joint involvement in the chest wall and the potential for pulmonary complications, include smoking cessation in recommendations. One 2011 study found that a history of smoking was associated with higher disease activity and decreased function in AS. [69]

Genetic counseling is useful in assisting patients with questions regarding the risk of family members developing AS or other seronegative spondyloarthropathies. Various patient support groups are available to assist in the education of these patients (eg, Spondylitis Association of America support groups).


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