Consumer and professional internet resources

Apps

ArthritisID is the most comprehensive free arthritis app for consumers, featuring the most current, evidence-based arthritis information to help detect, treat and manage arthritis.

“Health Apps—a Toolkit to Help You” takes a comprehensive approach to helping people find and use tried-and-tested health apps. It walks the reader through each step of a journey towards getting started with health apps. The Toolkit identifies the main pitfalls with health apps, and educates on how to overcome these problems.

My Opioid Manager was developed at Toronto Rehab to help people with chronic, non-cancer pain, such as osteoarthritis, understand uses of opioids and the side effects and risks; track their pain and opioid use; and easily share information about their chronic pain with their healthcare team.

Track and React is a free app created by the Arthritis Foundation that allows people with arthritis to monitor daily activities and symptoms so as to better discover how changes in sleep, nutrition, exercises, mood, and medication adherence may be impacting the symptoms of one’s disease. The app also includes a goal-setting function. Track and Reach is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire.


Education – Arthritis

The Arthritis Society is a Canadian organization that provides leadership and funding for research, advocacy and solutions to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by arthritis. The Arthritis Society offers many useful resources including a series of videos called, “People Getting A Grip on Arthritis” that describe a variety of strategies for managing arthritis. It can be found at http://www.arthritis.ca/peoplegettingagrip

The Arthritis Foundation is an American-based organization that provides access to information and resources that can be helpful in managing arthritis. For example, the Track & React app listed above was created by The Arthritis Foundation.

The site has several useful booklets that can be freely downloaded. Some of these include:

  1. 10 steps for living well with arthritis
  2. Back pain
  3. At home with arthritis – simple steps for managing in the home
  4. Stepping out – a guide for young adults with arthritis

This non-profit organization provides a wealth of education for people with arthritis and health care professionals. As well as the usual disease and medication information that is on many websites, this site also has a large section on arthritis and daily life that includes material on sleep and arthritis, sex and arthritis, pregnancy and arthritis, and many other topics. There is also a search feature. Using “spine” as a search term brought up many topics including information on how the spine is structured, strategies for managing pain in the spine, and a new surgical implant for osteoporosis spine fractures. The section on “tests and diagnosis” has a variety of information topics related to blood tests, imaging and other tests. With all searches you can specify if you want information that is basic, intermediate or advanced. Basic and intermediate information is likely of most relevance to people with arthritis, whereas intermediate or advanced information is likely of most relevance to health professionals. Information is provided in many formats including written text, information videos, reports, guidelines, and more.

Healthtalk.org provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people’s real-life experiences. You can watch people sharing their stories about rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoporosis, arthritis in young people, depression and much more. There are 85 topics that are addressed on the site and under each topic you can find out what happened to many other people in the same situation. You will find good advice and reassurance on topics such as making decisions about health and treatment, talking to friends and family, practical issues like money and travel, emotional wellbeing, and impact on work or education.

PubMed Health provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions. PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care. PubMed Health is a service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

RheumInfo.com provides accurate and reliable information on arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as the medications that treat them. For people with arthritis their is disease information, management strategies, and information on medications and their proper use. There are also symptom assessors for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis to help in preparing for a visit to the rheumatologist. For health care professionals there are also sections on assessment tools, joint examination protocols, infusion protocols, and more.

Persons with chronic health conditions and family members can participate in a variety of self-management programs offered by Self-Management BC in communities throughout BC at no cost. These programs provide information, teach practical skills and give people the confidence to manage their health condition(s). The chronic disease self-management is available in various languages, both in-person and online. There is also a chronic pain self-management program and the new health coach program for people needing one-on-one support.


Education – Ankylosing Spondylitis

NASS is a UK-based non-profit organization specifically geared to the needs of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Education pages on the site are organized according to general information, getting a diagnosis, just diagnosed, and living well with AS. The exercise section on the site provides exercise videos, as well as information on various physical activities (e.g., golfing, swimming, cycling, etc.). For each activity there is information on whether this is generally suitable for people with AS, how and why it may be of benefit, and considerations (i.e., things to do or avoid) when doing each activity.

The Spondylitis Association of America was founded in 1983 by people affected with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). It was the first and remains the largest resource in the United States for people seeking information on AS and related diseases.


Education – Fibromyalgia

FibroGuide is an online education program for people with Fibromyalgia. This self-paced program consists of 10 modules with information and worksheets on the following topics: Understanding Fibromyalgia, Communicating, Being Active, Sleep, Relaxation, What is Fibro Fog? Setting Goals, Pacing Yourself, Thinking Differently, and Time for You.


Education – Joint Replacement

The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation raises money through public donations and invests those funds in programs to advance orthopaedic research, promote patient and public education, and improve community care. The Foundation is also committed to patient education and to providing patients and their families with accurate, up-to-date information that will make going through orthopaedic surgery a little easier and less frightening.

footEducation.com was created by orthopaedic surgeons to provide patients and medical providers with current and accurate information on foot and ankle conditions and their treatments.

MedlinePlus is the American National Institutes of Health’s Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it offers information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues using language that is easy to understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free. MedlinePlus can be used to learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos or illustrations. There are also links to the latest medical research on various topics, as well as information on clinical trials.

  • My Joint Replacement – Site is being rebuilt with enhanced content and an improved website experience.

This web site is meant to guide and support patients and their families as they move through the joint replacement experience – starting from the pre-operative visit through the surgery itself and finally to recovery and rehabilitation. The site was created for people in Canada who will be having knee or hip replacement surgery sometime in the near future. There is also lots of useful information and advice for people who have already had their surgery.

The OASIS website hosts three excellent resources for those who are preparing for hip or knee replacement surgery. This includes:

  1. Before, during and after hip and knee replacement surgery: A patient’s guide
  2. Exercise guide for knee replacement surgery
  3. Exercise guide for hip replacement surgery

Mutual Support

CreakyJoints is a website by and for people with all forms of arthritis. The website provides meaningful support, updates (e.g., message board, newsletter), education (e.g., chronic pain and sleep), innovative advocacy and global research projects.

Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is a national organization that provides science-based information, education and support programs in both official languages to people with arthritis. ACE serves consumers living with all forms of arthritis by helping them take control of their disease and improve their quality of life. Founded and led by people with arthritis, ACE also actively advocates on arthritis health and policy issues, through ACE’s JointHealth™ family of programs and the Arthritis Broadcast Network. Advocacy efforts target consumers/patients, healthcare professionals, media and government.


Symptom Management – Emotions

Associated with Simon Fraser University, the website for this centre has several great resources of interest to people with arthritis or health care professionals including:

  1. The Antidepressant Skills Workbook gives an overview of depression, explains how it can be effectively managed according to the best available research, and gives a step-by-step guide to changing patterns that trigger depression. 
  2. A version of the Antidepressant Skills Workbook that’s been designed for use by teens.
  3. Three part relaxation audio to promote releasing tension.
  4. Positive Coping with Health Conditions is a self-care workbook for individuals who deal with health conditions, including patients, physicians, psychologists, nurses, rehabilitation professionals and researchers.

Living Life to the Full is for anyone dealing with stress, anxiety or just needing help in dealing with life’s challenges.
The Living Life to the Full courses can also help anyone in periods of transition, whether it is getting ready to leave high school, preparing for retirement, or moving to a new community. You can take Living Life to the Full in two ways: you can register for the 8-week, in-person group sessions in your community or order the course materials and work through the course on your own.

Developed by Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health and other organizations, MindHealth BC has a screening quiz to help identify the mental health or substance abuse challenges with which a person may be struggling. It also provides recommended resources specific to those challenges that may include online information and interactive self-help programs to local in-person services. All resources have been approved by a panel of experts, including people with lived experiences and their family members.


Symptom Management – Pain

The Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD) is a registered charitable organization dedicated to the prevention and reduction of pain, pain-related suffering, and disability.  A primary goal of CIRPD is to facilitate the translation of current research into practical information to support its rapid mobilization.

Pain BC provides a wide variety of resources for people living with chronic pain. This includes information, support groups, and links to pain specialists and pain clinics. The website also contains the Pain Toolbox, which is a guidebook of strategies and resources for helping people cope with chronic pain.