On Friday 9th November, BritPACT hosted its annual education day “Emerging Frontiers in Psoriatic Arthritis”. The meeting was held at The Studio in Birmingham and was a great success with 50 delegates attending.
There were two keynote lectures. The first from Professor Donal O’Shea the National Clinical Lead for Obesity in Ireland from University College Dublin on “the impact of obesity on obesity”. This fascinating talk highlighted the massive scale of the obesity issue in recent times. He discussed key isssues influencing obesity including societal influences, food production and consumption, psychology, activity and biology. He also gave a fascinating insight into the immunological changes seen in obese patients.
The second keynote was given by Professor Costantino Pitzalis, a professor of experimental medicine and rheumatology from Queen Mary University London. The talk was on stratified medicine and how this may influence our management of patients in the future. He summarised a number of studies in different types of inflammatory arthritis and how synovial biopsies might be used to identify particular tissue phenotypes in arthritis so that appropriate biologic therapies can be targeted at individuals. This has the potential to revolutionise treatment of inflammatory arthritis where up to 40% of patients do not respond to new therapies.
There were two hour-long workshops. The first, run by our patient group the BritPACT patient communications group (BPPCG), involved two of our patient partners telling their very personal stories of the impact that PsA has had on their lives. The other workshop, run by Professor Chris Bundy from Cardiff University and Laura Howells from the University of Nottingham taught clinicians how to integrate a motivational interviewing approach into routine clinics. This approach has been proven useful to motivate patients to adopt more healthy behaviours and a brief intervention can be performed within a routine clinic appointment to support and challenge our patients to address their health and lifestyle.
As part of our commitment to trainee and patient involvement, we also ran two competitions which were awarded at the meeting this year. Each meeting has had a trainee abstract competition and this year we had two winners who gave oral presentations – Dr Jeeu Teck Sze a trainee from Liverpool and Dr Ganesh Kavaskar a trainee at Coventry Hospitals. There were also two runner ups who presented poster abstracts – Dr Christina Ye from Oxford and Dr Anna Anthony from Bath. For the first time, we also had a patient poster competition. Patietns were invited to submit a poster to illustrate the impact of PsA on their life. The winner, aged just 16 was Kaci-Leigh Rose from Bath and a runner up prize was awarded to Lynne and Andrew Southworth who set up a Facebook support group for people with PsA. Congratulations to all of them!!
Our fifth annual education day will run in Autumn 2019 – keep watching the website for details in the new year.