Support Groups in Scleroderma

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2019 Feb 21;21(4):9. doi: 10.1007/s11926-019-0808-y.


Purpose of review: This review presents evidence on support group effectiveness in common diseases, research on support groups in systemic sclerosis (SSc), and work underway by the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network in collaboration with patient organizations to train SSc support group leaders in order to improve support group access and the experiences of support groups for members and leaders.

Recent findings: Giving and receiving emotional and practical support from others with SSc is an important reason that individuals with SSc attend support groups, but many patients cannot access support groups. SSc support group leaders report confidence in their ability to facilitate groups, but are less confident in tasks such as managing group dynamics and sustaining the group. The Scleroderma Support group Leader EDucation (SPIN-SSLED) Program was developed to provide training to support group leaders and was recently tested through a feasibility trial. A full-scale trial will commence in 2019.

Keywords: Rare disease; Scleroderma; Social support; Support groups; Systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Peer Group
  • Scleroderma, Systemic*
  • Self-Help Groups*

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