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We enjoyed some firsts at the European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) this year, including a tweet-up at our stand and our Journal editor Marwan Bukhari being interviewed on EULAR TV. Our President, Elizabeth Price, attended, as did our BHPR and BSPAR Section Vice Presidents Caroline Flurey and Kathryn Bailey. Here are some of their reflections on the event.

Elizabeth said: "One of the highlights of EULAR for me was the Epidemiology Abstract session chaired by Kimme Hyrich, who leads the BSR RA Biologics register in Manchester. She had collated a group of abstracts, many using registry data, which all had relevance for everyday clinical practice. Read more on this session here.


Caroline, meanwhile, felt EULAR was a great opportunity to meet international rheumatologists. She explains: “A personal highlight for me was chairing a session on behaviour change in fibromyalgia in which Yeliz Prior (UK) and Johanna Vriezekolk (The Netherlands) presented findings from their behaviour change interventions and Anita Ash (fibromyalgia patient, UK) discussed the positive impact of attending a course run by Yeliz.

“Anita brought tears to the eyes of many, and the combined patient and professional perspectives in this session made it incredibly powerful.”

This year’s EULAR and PReS (Paediatric Rheumatology European Society) sessions covered topics including paediatric and adolescent perspectives on diseases that continue into adulthood, as well as a rich paediatric rheumatology programme.

The sessions looked in detail at the impact genetics have on diagnosis of new and emerging diseases in particular, along with response to treatment, evidence to support the use of biologics in childhood disease, and delivery of effective services.

Kathryn says her highlight was a session chaired by Michael Beresford. She recalls: “The session included debate between Behrent Praken (President of PReS) and Iain McInnes (President-elect, EULAR) on whether everything starts in childhood or whether growing up changes everything. Of course, both are true!”

The team here all thoroughly enjoyed EULAR - it’s always a pleasure to interact with international colleagues. We look forward to attending again next year’s congress in Frankfurt, Germany.