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Survey Results: myRAteam Members on Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Written by Beth Schneider
Posted on August 30, 2023

The research team at MyHealthTeam recently conducted a survey with 468 members of myRAteam. All members who participated are people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who reside in the United States.

The survey asked members questions about topics like:

  • How RA affects quality of life
  • What is most important for treating RA
  • How well they feel they’re managing their condition

Here we share the results of this survey. If you’re living with RA, you might be able to relate to these experiences and responses from the myRAteam community.

How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Daily Life?

Previous research with members of myRAteam showed the far-reaching impact RA can have on your quality of life. Notable findings included:

  • Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents reported challenges with performing everyday chores.
  • Eighty-four percent reported difficulty exercising.
  • Seventy-eight percent reported RA interfered with their social lives.

Respondents also shared the mental health challenges associated with living with RA. Seventy-two percent said they felt depressed, and 67 percent reported feeling anxious.

The chart below shows the different ways survey respondents felt that RA has impacted their lives, including difficulty sleeping, disruptions to work or education, and negative effects on family members.

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It’s not surprising that only 13 percent of respondents said their overall health — as it relates to living with RA — was excellent or very good.

A picture containing text, screenshot, diagram, designDescription automatically generated

Which Factors Are Important for Managing RA?

In the recent survey, respondents shared which steps they consider to be extremely important for managing their RA. Here are some factors they deemed important:

  • 75 percent — Addressing symptoms of RA, such as pain or fatigue
  • 74 percent — Having meaningful conversations with their rheumatologist
  • 74 percent — Having a say in treatment decisions
  • 62 percent — Staying on prescribed medications

The chart below shows all of the factors respondents said were important for managing their RA.

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While respondents identified many factors that help them manage their RA, only 29 percent felt like they’d been successful at making these changes.

A picture containing text, screenshot, diagram, fontDescription automatically generated

Members report that they've been more successful at some steps than others. Sixty-eight percent of respondents reported getting involved in treatment decisions, and 62 percent reported success with staying on prescribed medications. Other steps have been more of a challenge, particularly when it comes to managing RA-related symptoms or following a diet or exercise plan.

A picture containing text, screenshot, fontDescription automatically generated

Words of Encouragement From myRAteam Members

Despite the challenges of living with RA, members shared these words of encouragement:

  • “Take it slow, and do not push yourself.”
  • “Focus on what you can do. A positive attitude is a must.”
  • “Stay on your meds, and try to exercise. Rest when you need to do so.”
  • “Stretch often, rest when you need to, stay away from refined sugar, eat fresh fruit every day, and listen to your doctor.”
  • “Avoid stress as much as possible. Rest and keep active on days you can.”
  • “Keep moving, manage your diet. … Network with other members, and be positive.”

Talk With Others Who Understand

On myRAteam, more than 203,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand what it’s like to live with rheumatoid arthritis.

How does rheumatoid arthritis impact you and your daily life? What advice do you have for others with RA? Describe your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

Posted on August 30, 2023
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

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Beth Schneider has been a market research professional for over 35 years. She focuses on both survey research and social listening analysis. Learn more about her here.

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