Support groups for young people with chronic rheumatic disease arthritis may be available in your area so it is worth exploring resources that may be able to offer social support. The United Kingdom alone has a number of organizations including Arthritis Care (www.arthritiscare.org.uk/ LivingwithArthritis/Youngpeople) which offers "positive future", workshops which are designed to enable teenagers to meet others with long term medical conditions, for support and fun. The Children's Chronic Arthritis Association (www.ccaa.org.uk) caters for young people up to the age of 16 and also offers residential trips for young people and their families, which allows them to meet others from all over the country and to participate in a wide range of challenging leisure activities. Many countries have similar support groups.
Table 3 Trigger Questions to Determine Levels of Peer Support in Clinic Setting
Who are your best friends? What are they called? How old are they? Tell me about your other friends?
What do you like to do with your friends out of school? Have you ever stayed over at a friend's house? Do you know any one else with your condition? Who knows about your arthritis/SLE, etc.? What do your friends think of you having this illness?
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