The Internet

In this technological era young people thrive on using technology as a way to communicate with others. The use of email and instant messaging now allows young people to communicate with others quickly and easily at the touch of a button, despite living miles apart. This can be a useful tool for harnessing the skills of young people with arthritis who can act a positive role model and can offer support and advice to others, particularly when there are no similar others who live in the area or where young people have difficulty accessing transport to meet up with friends and peers. However it should be remembered that not all young people have access to the internet at home, but liaising with the school to gain permission for the young person to be able to access the internet during the school day, is one way to overcome this problem. In any discussion of internet use, professionals need to raise awareness of online personal safety particularly in chat rooms. Awareness of recognized sites specifically for young people with chronic illness and/or disability is useful in this regard, for example, www. (Toronto,Canada) and Discussionforum/Youngpeoplezone (United Kingdom).

Although letter writing may be viewed by many to be rather old-fashioned some young people will still consider it as a means of communicating with their peer group. Health professionals can once again play an important role in helping to establish links between such young people, finding those of similar age and interests to put in contact with one another if they so desire.

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Thank you for deciding to learn more about the disorder, Osteoarthritis. Inside these pages, you will learn what it is, who is most at risk for developing it, what causes it, and some treatment plans to help those that do have it feel better. While there is no definitive “cure” for Osteoarthritis, there are ways in which individuals can improve their quality of life and change the discomfort level to one that can be tolerated on a daily basis.

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