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American College of Physicians unveils tools to improve care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Interventions include patient guides and videos

Philadelphia, April 9, 2014 — The American College of Physicians (ACP) is releasing a series of educational materials to help patients and physicians manage rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

"Live Better with Rheumatoid Arthritis"
Designed with input from doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and patients, this guidebook provides valuable information to help patients live better with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patients will learn about RA medications and treatments, along with tips for healthy eating and exercise. This guidebook also gives advice on coping with feelings and how to make everyday activities easier.

"Live Better with Rheumatoid Arthritis" includes clear language and relatable photos so that patients can understand complex information and management tips. Funded in part by the Arthritis Foundation, this guidebook suggests small steps patients with RA can take to help improve their quality of life.

"Relief in Sight: Coping with Long-Lasting Pain"
Chronic pain can be frustrating and exhausting. It can become the focus of a patient's life, affecting work, play, and relationships. However, most chronic pain conditions can be managed with one of the many types of therapies available today.

This guidebook and accompanying DVD is designed to help patients learn about options for pain management and, along with their doctor, find treatments that work. Patients will learn that sometimes it can take time to find the right combination of treatments to relieve pain, but working closely with a health care team is a patient's best chance for managing pain.

"Irritable Bowel Syndrome HEALTH TiPS"
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition with uncomfortable symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Patients can control IBS symptoms through healthy diet and exercise, managing stress, avoiding things that trigger symptoms, and taking medications to treat symptoms.

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome HEALTH TiPS are convenient two-sided 4"x6" sheets designed to help clinicians and patients to have more effective communication. The IBS HEALTH TiPS, funded by Forest Laboratories, identify key concepts that reinforce messages and are written to help patients understand what they need to know and do to manage their IBS.

"Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: A Guide for Patients"
The pancreas has many jobs, one of which is to make substances called enzymes. Enzymes allow the body to digest food so that it can be used for nourishment. If the pancreas is diseased or damaged, it may not make enough of these important enzymes. This condition is called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI for short.

This guidebook and accompanying DVD is designed to help patients learn more about signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and management of EPI. Today, people with EPI can manage the condition, which can reduce their symptoms.

How to Order ACP's Patient Education Materials
These patient education materials will be available on April 10 and can be ordered at www.acponline.org/patient_tools or by calling ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546, extension 2600. "Relief in Sight: Coping with Long-Lasting Pain," "Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: A Guide for Patients," and "Irritable Bowel Syndrome HEALTH TiPS" are available at no charge for all physicians and patients. ACP members can order up to two boxes (40 in each box) of the "Live Better with Rheumatoid Arthritis" guidebooks at no charge. Additional quantities are available for $64 per box.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 137,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

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