Ever walk out of a doctor’s appointment and suddenly get hit (metaphorically, obviously) by a whole load of questions that you meant to ask but didn't? Whether you ran out of time, couldn’t quite figure out how to phrase what you wanted to ask, or simply forgot some of the points you wanted to cover, it can be tricky to remember all the areas that you want to discuss in a consultation, particularly if your appointments are few far between. 

 

Well, we're channelling our inner Scout, because this is the exact type of situation where preparation really is the key to success. Your new mantra, preparation, preparation, preparation! It’s a really a good thing to be a proactive and informed patient, and with just a little advanced work and thinking about what’s changed since your last appointment, you can figure out exactly what you want from your appointment, and what the key areas for discussion might be.

 

To help with this, we've put together a short series of questions to help kick-start your thinking. Good luck!

 

  • Are there any points from your last appointment that you would like to clarify, or any PsA symptom management techniques that you were given that you’d like to discuss?

 

  • How would you rate the following symptoms since your last appointment on a scale of 1-10 (1 causing minimal discomfort and 10 causing maximum impact)?
    • Joint pain
    • Skin problems / visible psoriasis patches
    • Nail problems
    • Fatigue
    • Flare frequency
    • Pain severity
    • Side effects
    • Emotional state of wellbeing

 

  • Are there any symptoms that have changed significantly since your last appointment?

 

  • What are the three words you’d use to best describe how you’re feeling at the moment? We’ve noted some below that might be of help:
    • Energised
    • Content
    • Enthusiastic
    • Stable
    • Good
    • Great
    • Optimistic
    • Fine
    • Pessimistic
    • Frustrated
    • Trapped
    • Powerless
    • Insecure
    • Vulnerable

 

  • On average, how often do you exercise and for how long? Do you feel your workouts are helping alleviate your symptoms?

 

  • To summarise your most pressing needs, what are the three key things you’d most like to discuss during your appointment?

 

  • What are your personal targets for disease management over the next 6 months?

 

 

Don’t forget that taking a friend or family member to your appointment could also be really helpful, as they’ll be able to keep track of the conversation and provide any support you might need. You can also find more advice on how to talk with your doctor here.

 

Do you have any appointment preparation tips or stories to share? Let us know by joining in the conversation with @PsAndMe on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Psa and Me isn’t the only place to get good advice about living with psoriatic arthritis. There are various PsA charities and support groups out there – both online and across the globe.

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