International Sjogren's Syndrome Symposium
There are very few allied health professionals in the world who are carrying out clinical research in primary Sjogren’s syndrome. The symptoms of this disease, particularly fatigue, hugely impact on people’s lives and interfere with their ability to participate in valued life activities. It is vital that at an international conference that takes place only every 3 years, occupational therapy is given a voice. I believe that what we offer as clinicians can greatly benefit people with this disease. However, without the data to demonstrate this, it is unlikely that occupational therapy services will be commissioned to to support these patients. At this conference I was given the platform to describe the multidisciplinary fatigue clinic where I work as a clinician, describe what occupational therapy is and the specific components of a complex occupational therapy intervention within the fatigue clinic setting. I presented outcome data which demonstrates a clinical and statistical improvement in patients’ fatigue symptoms at discharge from the clinic. Importantly, this improvement is sustained at 6-12 months following discharge. My talk was very different to many of the immunology/immunotherapy presentations. As such, it stood out and I was approached by clincians and patients during the rest of the conference who wanted to find out more.