Taking Control

Helping Children Follow Their Medical Treatment Program:

Guidelines for Parents of Children with Rheumatic Diseases

Adapted and published with permission from Michael A. Rapoff, PhD of the University of Kansas Medical Center, author of "Helping Children Follow their Medical Treatment Program: Guidelines for Parents of Children with Rheumatic Diseases"

Children with chronic diseases (such as juvenile arthritis) often have difficulty following a treatment program consistently. No one likes to take medications, do special exercises, or wear splints over a long period of time. However, when your child follows her program consistently she is more likely to benefit from treatment.

Parents are an important part of a medical treatment team. They have responsibilities for making sure their children follow prescribed treatments. However, parents are not often given specific advice on HOW they can help their children follow their treatment program. The Taking Control section provides specific suggestions about how you can help your child be more consistent in taking medications, doing exercises, wearing splints, and adhering to other prescribed activities. Some of these suggestions will not be new to some parents as they have been following them on their own for a long time. In fact, some of the strategies described in this booklet were suggested by parents in pediatric rheumatology clinics. Feel free to use strategies which work for you and to adapt them to fit your unique family situation.

 A Note from Michael A. Rapoff, Ph.D

This booklet was written to give parents of children with rheumatic diseases strategies for helping their children follow medical treatment recommendations. Treatments can't work unless children closely follow recommendations on a daily basis. Our research has shown that the strategies described in this booklet can be very helpful in improving adherence to medical treatments. The author would appreciate any feedback from parents.

Micheal A. Rapoff, Ph.D
University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS  66160-7330
Office  Phone: 913-588-6323
Fax: 913-588-2253

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