'Circle of Care'
Collaborative Aims to Reduce Barriers to Recognition and Treatment of Fibromyalgia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jersey City, December 5, 2007---“The Fibromyalgia Circle of Care,” a new collaboration between the National Fibromyalgia Association (“NFA”), The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing has developed three annual initiatives designed to address the ongoing challenges faced by healthcare providers in the diagnosis and management of fibromyalgia patients.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition thought to result from neurological changes in how patients perceive pain, specifically, a heightened sensitivity to stimuli that are not normally painful. Many healthcare providers lack confidence in diagnosing fibromyalgia and are reluctant to diagnose patients with the condition.
The “Circle of Care” initiatives will commence with a planning meeting bringing together leading fibromyalgia clinicians, researchers and patients all under the auspices of the collaborative. A consensus statement defining the educational needs and appropriate management statements for patients with fibromyalgia is the goal. The three educational initiatives will consist of: a series of institutional and community based satellite broadcasts to 7,000 US hospitals and community health centers, a national series of workshops in major metropolitan cities and academic medical centers, and a national series of debate-based meetings focused on the multidisciplinary care and management of fibromyalgia. This integrated approach will provide multiple points of access, resources and tools estimated to reach over 250,000 healthcare providers.
“The ‘Circle of Care’ collaborative developed these initiatives with the intent to provide education through an integrated and multi-interventional approach, permitting healthcare providers to interact and share their knowledge and best practices through various programs and media,” said Lynne Matallana, founder and president of the NFA. Dr. Victor Marrow of The Johns Hopkins Office of Continuing Medical Education adds, “Our mission is to educate physicians nationwide, and the prevalence of fibromyalgia and its misunderstanding by healthcare professionals makes this a very important area for Hopkins CME.”
The need for education is reinforced by a recent NFA survey of healthcare providers which showed that approximately one-in-three respondents who are knowledgeable about fibromyalgia incorrectly classify the condition as an autoimmune disease (32%) or a type of arthritis (28%). For most healthcare specialties surveyed, less than one-third of physicians were “extremely/very confident” in their ability to diagnose the disorder.
“Physician education is vital to understanding this illness and how therapies can help improve the quality of life in patients suffering from this disease that affects over 6 to 10 million people,” states Dan Clauw, MD, Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of Chronic Pain and Fatigue Center at the University of Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research.
The NFA survey also stated that less than 20% of fibromyalgia cases are diagnosed and drug treated. Currently 50% of fibromyalgia patients remain undiagnosed at any time while a correct diagnosis may take as long as 5 to 8 years from the disease onset. "With the approval of drugs specifically for fibromyalgia, clinicians are excited about the newly available treatment options. These initiatives will help ensure that clinicians understand how to incorporate drug and non-drug therapies together to lead to overall better management of fibromyalgia,” added Dr. Clauw.
The “Circle of Care” collaborative will work with MJ Consulting Group and Gullapalli and Associates, consulting firms that specialize in the development of educational strategies for healthcare providers. Both organizations will oversee the development and facilitation of the educational initiatives and provide their analysis on how these initiatives translate research into clinical practice.
If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with the collaborative, please call Regina Motarjeme at 732.993.5355 or e-mail Regina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the National Fibromyalgia Association
The NFA, founded in 1997 by Lynne Matallana, is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing and decreasing the burden of fibromyalgia through education, research and patient advocacy. The NFA’s philosophy is to help empower all stakeholders in fibromyalgia and to provide them with a new level of hope for the future.
For more information, please visit www.fmaware.org.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
In July 2007, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Johns Hopkins Hospital No. 1 among American hospitals for the 17th consecutive year. Johns Hopkins remains the nation’s leading medical school recipient of research funds from the National Institutes of Health. In 2006, the Johns Hopkins Office of CME received “Accreditation with Commendation” for 6 years, the highest ranking issued by the ACCME. Hopkins CME has been recognized as a center for “Best Practices” as a resource to ACCME-accredited providers.
For more information, please visit http://www.hopkinscme.net/.
The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing
The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing designs and delivers leading-edge continuing education for nurses. The Institute accesses the expertise of world-renowned faculty, researchers and educators from both The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
For more information, please visit http://www.ijhn.jhmi.edu/.
About MJ Consulting Group
MJ Consulting Group (“MJ”) collaborates with academic medical centers of excellence, non-profit associations and medical education companies dedicated to advancing medical education. MJ’s mission is to deliver communications strategies that improve the knowledge, skills and clinical behavior of healthcare providers and raise awareness of educational gaps and needs to positively impact patient care and outcomes.
For more information, please visit http://www.mjconsultinggroup.com/.
Gullapalli & Associates (G&A) is a consulting firm specializing in facilitating strategic collaboration between key stakeholders in the medical education community. G&A facilitates the development of integrated educational initiatives through evidence based health education models, ensuring consistent educational strategy, goals, and objectives across multiple channels.
For additional information on G&A, please visit http://www.gullapalliandassoc.com/.