News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Study considers needs of young adults with arthritis

Pioneering study considers needs of young adults with arthritis
- Research a first for New Zealand

Pioneering new research by an Otago Polytechnic occupational therapy student will shed some light on the information and support required by an often hidden group of arthritis sufferers; those aged in their 20s and 30s.

Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability in this country, affecting more than 530,000 New Zealanders (MOH 2012). It’s a common misconception that arthritis only affects older people, but children and young adults are also affected by many different types of arthritis.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student, Lauren Redshaw, has been granted a $5,000, 10-week summer research scholarship from Arthritis New Zealand to investigate the needs of New Zealanders first diagnosed with arthritis in their 20s and 30s. She will also submit recommendations on how those needs could be met.

Lauren’s interest in the topic was sparked when a 23-year-old friend was diagnosed with arthritis last year. “Her experiences were not positive in terms of the information and support she felt was available to her. So I undertook a literature review and couldn’t find any previous New Zealand research into those with arthritis from this age group.”

As part of her research, Lauren will conduct comprehensive interviews with five people with arthritis aged in their 20s or 30s.

“These are interesting ages because a lot of massive life events are often occurring, such as undertaking study, establishing careers, getting married or having children, for example. The participants of my research are going through these major stages and changes while also dealing with their arthritis.”

Arthritis New Zealand’s CEO, Sandra Kirby, says rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis are among the most common types of arthritis affecting young adults.

“Arthritis not only affects joints; chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, and - in some cases – depression, are other common symptoms described by people with arthritis,” she says. “Through Lauren’s project, Arthritis New Zealand hopes to gain more information about the needs of young people with arthritis so we can provide tailored support and resources to this group.”

The research will be supervised by Otago Polytechnic’s Principal Lecturer of Occupational Therapy, Dr Linda Robertson. “Lauren is an exceptional student with a keen interest in research, and it’s a pleasure to be able to encourage and support her as she completes this significant project.”

After finishing her research in February 2013, Lauren hopes to undertake follow-up studies as a basis for her Honours dissertation later that year.

“It’s an under-researched area and there’s a real need for more information about this often-overlooked group of arthritis sufferers,” she says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Snow Business: Coronet Peak Turns 70

In 1947 Coronet Peak in Queenstown opened with just a rope tow pulling keen skiers up a mountain, the first commercial ski field to open in New Zealand. More>>

Howard Davis: 'Dunkirk'

The British have an extraordinary penchant for celebrating catastrophic military defeats. It is not only the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gallipoli that have become immortalized in prose, poetry, and movies ...
More>>

Conservation: Gecko Stolen From DOC Visitor Centre

A long-term resident at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre has been stolen. The Marlborough green gecko was reported missing on 19 July. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Rare Ingredients

When I heard Kiazim was publishing a cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity... I was back in New Zealand, but how hard could it be to create Turkish-Cypriot cuisine on the opposite side of the world? Well, it turns out — pretty damn hard. More>>

Remembrance: British Memorial Design Revealed

After years of work with Weta Workshop, the British High Commission has revealed the final design of the United Kingdom’s presence in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: The Whole Intimate Mess

Alison McCulloch: Walker’s account of what she went through is harrowing and intimate, and, at risk of sounding trite, very brave. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland