Explaining Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis to Pediatric Patients Using Easy-to-Read Illustrations and Text: Improving Disease Awareness and Adherence to Treatment


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Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2021 Nov 8; 19 (1): 158. doi: 10.1186 / s12969-021-00644-9.


INTRODUCTION: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is the leading chronic rheumatic disease of childhood. To achieve treatment adherence, a thorough understanding of the disease and treatment options is important.

OBJECTIVE: Development of specially designed illustrations and standardized, easy-to-read texts for children and adolescents with JIA. The teaching aids have been tested for comprehensibility and validity of the content. We hypothesized that children would be able to deepen their knowledge about JIA after presentation of the material.

METHODS: The illustrations were designed by a graphic designer and the informative texts were successively transformed into an easy-to-read language. The materials appear as a modular system to allow individualized information for each patient. Illustrations and texts were tested for knowledge acquisition and improvement of self-efficacy in children affected by JIA / rheumatic diseases and controls. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was tested as a comprehensive assessment of patient well-being.

RESULTS: 46 controls (71% women) and 38 patients (48% women) with a median age of 11 years were tested in a standardized setting. In both groups, the knowledge gain was significant (controls: t (44) = 11.08, p

Conclusion: Explaining juvenile rheumatic diseases and therapeutic strategies is an important task in pediatric rheumatology. To avoid incomprehensible explanations in medical jargon, easy-to-read illustrations and texts have been developed. The standardized presentation of the newly created materials resulted in a significant improvement in disease knowledge in patients and controls, in addition to improved self-efficacy in patients.

PMID:34749738 | DO I:10.1186 / s12969-021-00644-9

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