Setting Treatment Goals

VOICE-OVER: It’s really dual goal setting—my goals as well as your goals. What is it that you want? Are there things that you want to be able to do that you’re not able to do today? If patients are still experiencing symptoms and not meeting their goals for their RA treatment—they should ask for more, by working with a rheumatologist, reevaluate their options, and find something that helps them meet their goals.

Patients will say things to me like, “I just want to sleep through the night and get up refreshed. I want to walk without discomfort.” I also hear them say, they want to continue to have social engagement without thinking about the pain all the time. My patients want to know that they’ll be able to continue to work and take care of themselves. They want to be able to travel more easily. And live a life that is not governed by pain. I’m not just looking at outcomes for the next week or the next month, I’m also looking at the next year, the next ten years.

Most patients only talk about getting better, but don’t necessarily talk about achieving remission. To me, it’s important for patients to discuss achieving remission with their doctors, since we should always be looking for the best possible outcomes for our patients. We want to strive for little to no symptoms. It’s important for patients to remember that achieving remission is not a cure. They still need to follow their treatment plan. My job is to keep an eye on that ultimate goal and adjust their treatment plan along the way to help them reach it.

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