Maintaining your treatment program

Now that you have completed all of the sessions, it is a good time to review your self-management goals.

Identifying the successes

On a sheet of paper, list your goals for the program and whether you have reached these goals. List the strategies that have helped you reach these goals.

Remember that everyone is different. Each person has different goals and strategies that work best for them.

Identifying and overcoming barriers to success

You may find it helpful to identify the goals and strategies that you had difficulty with or that did not progress the way you wanted them to. Think of some areas that you had difficulty with and would like to work on.

Can you name two different skills that you would like to work on?

There are many reasons why setbacks can occur:

• Learning some of the management skills may be difficult. They may require more time and practice.

• You may forget to practice the skills.

• You may think that some of the skills are too hard to do.

• A major event may happen, like a disease flare or the illness of a family member. This can interrupt the learning of new skills.

• It may take too long to notice any improvement from using a new skill.

All of these reasons can be thought of as barriers. They are reasons why you might find it hard to learn or remember to use the skills. You can think up strategies to get around these barriers.

Here is an example:

Barrier: It’s hard to find time to relax when I have something more interesting or important to do.

Strategy: I tell myself that relaxing feels great. It is fun to let my mind wander and to imagine being in my favourite place. I tell myself that practicing for several minutes now will help me learn to relax quickly and easily later on. It will not be long until this practice pays off!

Write down the biggest barrier you expect to face.

Now write how to face this barrier.

If you find that you have multiple reasons for not practicing the skills, remember your goal is to help yourself manage JIA. If you are committed to taking control over your life, then you need to try your best to see if these strategies will work for you. If you are having trouble meeting your goals, discuss what is getting in the way with a member of your health care team.

You may also feel like certain strategies just didn’t work for you and you don’t want to keep practicing them. Practice over time makes us better at using any strategy. Sometimes we don’t notice improvements right away and it may not seem worthwhile to keep practicing. Sometimes, even with practice, certain strategies aren’t as helpful for one person as for another. You can ask your health care team to help you with these strategies while you are doing this program.


Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.

JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.

Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.

Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.

There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.

When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.

Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.

Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.

Whether you have JIA or not, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Find out how to stay healthy and active, learn about puberty and relationships, healthy body image, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Sometime between the ages of 18 to 22, you most likely will transition from your pediatric rheumatologist to the adult health care setting. At that time, there are a number of things you, your family, and your health-care team can do to help make this change go smoothly.