Frequently asked questions

What is the Patient-to-Patient Connection Program?

Patient-to-Patient Connection Program is a program where an experienced rheumatoid arthritis patient is available to help other RA patients, their family members and caregivers.  Partners connect using the telephone, email, or even meet face-to-face if partners so choose. Having a peer differs from talking with a rheumatologist or nurse in that you connect with a fellow patient who can relate from personal experience and provides you with insights to help you handle your individual concerns and situations such as what to expect when you’re initially diagnosed, ways to deal with fatigue, side effects of medications or any other topic of concern.

Who are Patient-to-Patient Peer Support Partners?

The Peer Support Partner is a patient who has experience living with rheumatoid arthritis and has received specialized training from our licensed social worker before s/he is matched.  Peer Support Partners are supported through a monthly conference call and have knowledge and access to resources at the Brigham and Women’s Arthritis Center.

When can I participate in the Patient-to-Patient program?

The program is open to any RA patient who would like to talk about anything related to living with RA with a fellow patient. Anyone with rheumatoid arthritis is welcome to request a partner or to become trained as a partner. You may want to speak with someone as quickly as possibly if you or your loved one has recently been diagnosed.

How does Patient-to-Patient Connection work?

The Patient-to-Patient coordinator will select a peer support partner based on the support and/or informational needs of the patient, caregiver or family member. The Peer Support Partner will contact the patient, caregiver or family member directly via telephone. Depending on what you and your partner decide, you might talk just one time on the telephone to ask questions about medications or other aspects of living with RA.  Or you can end up building a relationship sharing your thoughts, encouragement, and positive insights.  Partners are matched for 6 weeks at which time they can choose to continue.

How can Patient-to-Patient Connection help?

People dealing with rheumatoid arthritis may appreciate being able to speak with someone who also knows what it is really like to experience rheumatoid arthritis. Peer Support Partners can help reduce fears and concerns, provide information, guide patients through the healthcare system, discuss available resources and, perhaps most importantly, provide hope, understanding, support and reassurance. You may contact the program coordinator, Adel Andemeskel at [email protected] or 857.307.5213. Referrals can also be made by any member of your healthcare team. Ask any team member to put you in touch with the Patient-to-Patient Connection program.

This service is provided FREE of charge.