Speaking Plainly

A guide to help healthcare professionals talking to patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Speaking PlainlyThis guide, which has been awarded a crystal mark by the Plain English Campaign, is intended to help rheumatologists, GPs and other healthcare professionals who need to speak to people with rheumatoid arthritis in clear, accessible language.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Many may have very little medical knowledge, and until their diagnosis, may have had little interest in health issues. Some will be the opposite, with many questions and potential misconceptions which need correcting. For some people, their English may be limited, perhaps because it is not their first language. Others may simply find understanding difficult.

Healthcare professionals have to constantly adapt their communication about rheumatoid arthritis to different types of people. Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis have changed dramatically in recent years, and even well informed people often need concise explanations of all the treatment options. As a chronic condition, people with rheumatoid arthritis will be in contact with specialist doctors and nurses, probably for a lifetime. Building a relationship with the person and, helping them to understand the treatment which they are receiving is very important.

This guide includes suggestions for ways healthcare professionals can provide the key facts, figures and treatment options in a simple, straightforward manner. The suggested answers to questions that people might ask are written in a conversational style with language suitable for discussions with them. 

Please click here to download a copy of the Speaking Plainly guide

This project has been funded by Roche Products Ltd and endorsed by the Plain English Campaign.

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September 2014