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The LionsDen Award for Writing Excellence – Patients

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Rheumatology Care Patient Workbook

by Atlantis Healthcare for AbbVie

Summary of work

Winner: Rheumatology Care Patient Workbook

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) currently affects 580,000 people in the UK.1 Patients face varying physical, 2,3 economic3 and psychosocial consequences2 negatively affecting their quality of life. A staggering 30-80 per cent4,5,6,7 of RA patients do not take prescribed treatment as advised by their healthcare professional (HCP) and demonstrate poor disease self-management. To address this need, AbbVie has developed Rheumatology Care, a counselling psychology programme with an interactive self-management workbook at its core – designed to empower and equip patients to take an active role in managing their RA. In-depth health-psychology research underpins the workbook, which delivers proven behaviour-change techniques within its engaging consumer-style copy and design. The written tone, imagery and layout of the workbook are at the core of ensuring patients feel uplifted and supported by it. In tandem, patients receive calls from a counselling psychologist to help them work through the exercises – if they are identified as at high risk of non-adherence, the number of calls increases. The calls allow direct reaction to any patient issues and challenges. Launched in June 2012, Rheumatology Care currently has 177 registrations.



2. Aggarwal, A., Chandran, S., & Misra, R. (2006). Physical, psychosocial and economic impact of rheumatoid arthritis: A pilot study of patients seen at a tertiary care referral centre. The National Medical Journal of India, 19 (4), 187-191.

3. Cunha-Miranda, L., Costa, L., & Ribeiro, J.S. (2010). NEAR study: Needs and Expectations in Rheumatoid Arthritis - do we know our patients needs? Acta Reumatologica Portuguesa, 35 (3), 314-323.

4. Neame, R., & Hammond, A. (2005). Beliefs about medications: a questionnaire survey of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology, 44 (6), 762-767.

5. van den Bemt, B.J.F., den Broeder, A.A., van den Hoogen, F.H., Benraad, B., Helster, Y.A., van Riel, P.L., & van Lankveld, W. (2011). Making the rheumatologist aware of patients' non-adherence does not improve medication adherence in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, 40 (3), 192-196.

6. Elliott, R.A. (2008). Poor Adherence to Medication in Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Reasons and Solutions. Disease Management & Health Outcomes, 16 (1), 13-29.

7. Burke, C., Copeland, R., Baqir, W., & Birrell, F. (2011). Adherence to prescribed medicines in rheumatology: a qualitative evaluation of patients' views on DMARDs. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 3 (4), 119-122. 

Judges comments

We selected this as a winner because it successfully combined the behavioural factors, which underpinned the programme, with clear and engaging writing that would be very appealing to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

It is genuinely savvy, making very good use of psychology and behaviour change theory. The tone is friendly and inclusive and, despite its wide vocabulary, it is easy to digest. 

You can’t underestimate how difficult it is to write something that is fundamentally medical and make it appropriate for a readership where you’ve got a very wide range of ages and demographics. But this was designed with the patient in mind and had such a clear and engaging feel. A really strong initiative that deserves wider exposure.


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Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

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Tel: 01372 414253