The objectives of the EURIDISS project are:
- to understand the role of the informal and formal (health) care systems in managing (coping with) chronic, incapacitating diseases (ic rheumatoid arthritis),
- the interactive influence of clinical change, psychological characteristics and social support on the quality of life of RA patients,
- to describe and compare the patterns of care that exist for RA patients in European countries and how these patterns may influence outcome (quality of life, course of the disease).
The increase in the number of chronically ill patients in an ageing society has an enormous impact on health care institutions, apart from the consequences chronic illness has for the quality of life of patients and their families.
As Governments become increasingly concerned with the costs and benefits of the varying health care systems in Europe, the analysis of the relationship between formal and informal care systems (ie health care system characteristics, professionals involved in care, social support and family care, substitution in care) on the one hand, and the effects of these care systems on 'health outcomes' (ie survival, functional status, quality of life) on the other hand could have major policy implications. EURIDISS is a longitudinal, international comparative study to analyse these relationships among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).