Free open resources raising awareness of JIA
PMM online is a free and open resource for all to raise awareness, aid correct diagnosis and improve access to care. PMM stands for Paediatric Musculoskeletal Matters and the PMM online resource was originally developed by Professor Helen Foster with the team at Newcastle University.
It is primarily aimed at doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to enable them to know how to correctly diagnose a child or young person who is presenting with a musculoskeletal condition such as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).
Doctors/clinicians and trainee doctors can access training information and resources to help them understand how children differ from adults when it comes to musculoskeletal conditions, and takes them through the standard assessments called pGALS and pREMS –
pGALS (paediatric Gait, Arms, Legs, Spine) is simple approach to musculoskeletal assessment.
pREMS (paediatric Regional Examination of the Musculoskeletal System) is a detailed examination of each joint, based on ‘look, feel, move, function’.
Nurses and student nurses can access a dedicated area on the PMM online website which holds a wealth of information specific to Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions and how the nursing team are instrumental in various aspects of care.
Whilst these resources are aimed at doctors and nurses, as an open resource it is free for anyone to access making it particularly useful in parts of the world where there are few or no specialist teams available.
Even here in the UK, we know that frontline healthcare professionals may not always be familiar with JIA. PMM online is a tool that is available to them to help them understand what might be wrong with a child and to refer to specialist services.
PMM was transferred to PReS (Paediatric Rheumatology European Association) in May 2022 for long term guardianship and sustainability. The PMM Global Editorial Board, which we are proud to be part of, will ensure the ongoing ethos of PMM to be free and open to all to support the growth of global paediatric rheumatology.
How does PMM online relate to #ThinkJIA?
Our own campaign called #ThinkJIA was also developed with Professor Helen Foster with input from parents, teachers, general practitioners and other clinicians.
#ThinkJIA is a more general awareness-raising resource to ensure that people from all walks of life have a basic awareness that children and young people can get arthritis too.
We don’t expect parents, teachers or even frontline healthcare professionals to have the depth of knowledge needed to be certain of diagnosing JIA. We simply want them to have enough knowledge of the signs and symptoms to know when to ask for a referral to specialist paediatric rheumatology services.
On the #ThinkJIA website we have links to PMM online for those doctors and health professionals who feel they need the extra reassurance of knowing what to do and how to refer. For parents and carers, we want to equip them with enough awareness and knowledge to have the confidence to “Just thInk and Ask,” whether their child could have JIA?
We want both parents/carers and frontline health professionals to be aware that sometimes blood tests and x-rays can appear ‘normal’ yet a referral to paediatric rheumatology would still be needed in a child with joint inflammation lasting 6 weeks or more. This may be visible (such as swollen joints, which may appear red, and may be warm to the touch) or invisible, but noticed when a child or young person has less movement in a joint or is not able to do something that they could do before. Whilst joint inflammation is often painful, sometimes a joint can be affected without noticeable pain.
Our aim is for #ThinkJIA to act as a reminder to healthcare professionals, that a referral to an eye specialist is also vital to check for JIA-related uveitis.
We very much see #ThinkJIA and PMM online working hand-in-hand together helping to raise general awareness of JIA in society, with further training and resources available for those clinicians who need it.
The work that has been done on PMM online is highly commendable and is already making a difference to children with JIA and musculoskeletal conditions around the globe.
If you feel like your doctor or health professional would benefit from knowing more about JIA, please point them to these free online resources:
We are always happy to send GP practices and A&E departments in the UK a physical copy of our #ThinkJIA resources. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with #ThinkJIA in the subject line and please include the postal address details to send them to.