Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a major cause of disability affecting about 1% of the population. Although much effort has been expended on research into the causes and cures of RA, little progress has been made. The focus of treatment in RA is on reducing the disabling consequences of the disease and controlling the symptoms. Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis examines the nature of RA and its symptoms of pain and stiffness. The role of health care professionals and the individual's encounters with the doctor are important to understand as these experiences influence the individual's behaviour and understanding of their RA.This book will be an invaluable aid to the considerable number of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, their families, carers and all health professionals involved in its treatment.Stanton Newman is the author of 'Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis', published 1995 under ISBN 9780415105415 and ISBN 0415105412.