REFERENCE: Silvers, I. J., Hovell, M. F., Weisman, M. H., Mueller, M. R. (1985). Assessing physician/patient perceptions in rheumatoid arthritis: A vital component in patient education. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 28, 300-307.

A rationale based on a public health perspective for using minimal intervention programs in the treatment of arthritis is presented. Minimal interventions are relatively inexpensive, relatively free from side effects, and produce therapeutic effects that range from statistically significant to clinically important. Empirical evidence regarding the relative efficacy of minimal intervention programs continues to accumulate in general preventive medicine. Extension to arthritis treatment and control is recommended. This will require (1) practitioners to recognize the public health perspective, (2) consensus judgment that a treatment is likely to produce therapeutic benefits at little cost and with minimal side effects, and (3) empirical validation of efficacy based on clinical trial results. It is concluded that the concept of minimal intervention could increase physicians' use of such treatments and thereby increase the therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from arthritic disease.


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