<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 28, Issue 4, December 2020

Rom J Leg Med28(4)458-464(2020)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine


T. C. Blidaru, D. L. Păun, A. C. Sîrbu, N. I. Dima, C. Poiană,

Abstract: Introduction. Rare diseases (RDs) are pathologies that affect a small number of people compared to the general population. In the literature we discover a general approach on rare diseases (RDs), most studies observing a single pathology or the whole spectrum. The current study follows a specialty-based approach of endocrine RDs. This study evaluates the ways in which patients and doctors relate to patient organizations (POs), including education and involvement in research activities. Methods. A questionnaire was applied between May 20th and June 30th 2020 to 66 endocrinologists and to 32 patients with a rare endocrine disease. Results. RDs cause significant burdens for patients and their families, especially from a mental health perspective. The most significant activities of POs for patients are provision of medical education, legal counsel, advocacy and policy-making, whilst doctors consider mental health support as the main role. While a majority of patients collaborate with organizations, only 11% of Romanian endocrinologists do so, the main cause being the insufficient knowledge about these structures. Patient involvement is considered by both groups to be needed in RDs research, but 69% of patients were never part of a research study due to lack of information. Conclusions. POs play a key role in the management of RDs and more physicians should be involved in their activities. Studies on larger groups should be conducted prior to coherent policy-making in this field.
Keywords: rare diseases, orphan diseases, patient, healthcare professional, research, case management, endocrine system diseases, patient organizations, integrative medicine, medical education.

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