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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Aug;85(8):1382-4.

Pediatric rheumatology: what does the future hold?

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1
Department of Pediatric Rheumatology, University of Washington/Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.

Abstract

Effectiveness of the traditional rehabilitation approaches used in pediatric rheumatology has been difficult to prove and, in times of cost containment, this lack of evidence may lead to undertreatment with physical and occupational therapies. Quantitative methods such as those described in this issue by Broström and colleagues can be used to validate those approaches and to reinforce the need for careful attention to the effects of even minor loss of range and strength in children with juvenile arthritis. Historically, up to half of the children affected by polyarticular juvenile arthritis became disabled. Some factors that have led to improved outcomes for childhood rheumatic diseases are discussed, including medications (use of weekly low-dose methotrexate, intra-articular steroid injections, new biologic agents that specifically block mediators of inflammation, for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1), surgery (joint replacements), and psychosocial interventions (with schools and families). The importance of maintaining range of movement, strength, weight bearing, and ambulation, in an effort to prevent sequelae such as osteoporosis and wheelchair dependence, is emphasized. Early identification of children with rheumatic diseases and aggressive intervention, with a combined medical, rehabilitation, psychosocial, and, rarely, surgical approach, should now allow most affected children to reach adulthood with little or no disability.

PMID:
15295771
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2004.02.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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