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Delivery of paediatric rheumatology care: a survey of current clinical practice in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific regions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicola AldridgeORCiD, Emerita Professor Helen Foster



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021, The Author(s).Background: Paediatric rheumatic diseases are a leading cause of acquired disability in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific Countries (SE ASIA/ASIAPAC). The aims of this study were to identify and describe the challenges to the delivery of patient care and identify solutions to raise awareness about paediatric rheumatic diseases. Methods: The anonymised online survey included 27 items about paediatric rheumatology (PR) clinical care and training programmes. The survey was piloted and then distributed via Survey-Monkey™ between March and July 2019. It was sent to existing group lists of physicians and allied health professionals (AHPs), who were involved in the care pathways and management of children with rheumatic diseases in SE ASIA/ASIAPAC. Results: Of 340 participants from 14 countries, 261 participants had been involved in PR care. The majority of the participants were general paediatricians. The main reported barriers to providing specialised multidisciplinary service were the absence or inadequacy of the provision of specialists and AHPs in addition to financial issues. Access to medicines was variable and financial constraints cited as the major obstacle to accessing biological drugs within clinical settings. The lack of a critical mass of specialist paediatric rheumatologists was the main perceived barrier to PR training. Conclusions: There are multiple challenges to PR services in SE ASIA/ASIAPAC countries. There is need for more specialist multidisciplinary services and greater access to medicines and biological therapies. The lack of specialist paediatric rheumatologists is the main barrier for greater access to PR training.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tangcheewinsirikul S, Tang S-P, Smith N, Sukharomana M, Charuvanij S, Vilaiyuk S, Arkachaisri T, Scott C, Foster HE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Rheumatology

Year: 2021

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 23/01/2021

Acceptance date: 11/01/2021

Date deposited: 22/07/2022

ISSN (electronic): 1546-0096

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s12969-021-00498-1


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