Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Treating Achondroplasia: how to improve the healthcare for achondroplasia

A conference and a survey

A few months ago I was invited to speak at a conference about how the community sees the healthcare and general support for achondroplasia. The conference had clinical and scientific experts from all over the world.

Given my involvement with achondroplasia, I have my own perceptions about the ups and downs of care, but I wanted to have a broader view that I could present to the other experts during my talk. I wanted to hear from families and people who deal directly with health issues, so I started a short survey in three achondroplasia-related groups in Facebook (Fb; two international and one based in Brazil). The survey was not about calculating rates of this and that, but to understand people's view about the healthcare for achondroplasia.

In summary, the purpose of the survey was to gather impressions of what works well and what doesn't when someone needs healthcare or support from the healthcare system. I have extracted the feedback received from Fb group members from different countries around the world and collated them, and also added real testimonies collected from Fb groups. All information that could lead to personal identification was redacted. More than giving my own opinion, the way I presented the data had one single goal, which was to provide the experts in the conference with points-of-view about healthcare that are not frequently shared with them in their daily practice.

Of course, the message, or messages, given during that presentation are far from approaching all aspects involved in the care and support individuals with achondroplasia and their families need and deserve. My talk basically emphasized an important issue people all over the world face when seeking for healthcare and/or support. However, I believe that what I showed was able to move the audience towards the right direction. I promised to publish the results of the survey, which is what I am doing now, by sharing with you the presentation I gave and I am really grateful to all those members that provided their opinions and insights. Thank you!

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