Our vision — a world where people with arthritis live the fullest life possible, with the ability to pursue valued life activities with minimal pain.
Our mission — to improve the quality of life of people affected by arthritis.
CDC and its partners are working to implement recommendations in the National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy and A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis [PDF - 3.33MB]. Each of these landmark public health plans were developed by CDC, the Arthritis Foundation, and a diverse group of other organizations. Each recommends a variety of activities to reduce pain, disability, and improve the quality of life of persons affected by arthritis.
- Improve and increase self-management attitudes and behaviors among persons with arthritis.
- Increase early diagnosis and appropriate pain management.
- Decrease pain and disability among persons with arthritis.
- Improve physical, psychosocial, and work function among persons with arthritis.
The Arthritis Program is working to —
- Measure the burden of arthritis. At the national level, CDC uses surveys of the National Center for Health Statistics to define the burden of arthritis, monitor trends, and assess how arthritis affects quality of life. At the state level, CDC and states (all 50, District of Columbia, and the 3 territories) use the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to obtain arthritis burden data.
- Strengthen the science base. CDC conducts or supports research to define the impact of arthritis in the United States. We also support research to both develop and evaluate interventions to help people with arthritis improve their quality of life.
- Increase Awareness. CDC, working with the Arthritis Foundation, states, and other partners is supporting two health communications campaigns promoting physical activity among people with arthritis: Physical Activity. The Arthritis Pain Reliever for English speaking audiences, and Buenos Días, Artritis for Hispanic audiences.
- Build State Arthritis Programs. State Health Departments, with CDC support, are working to expand the reach of interventions that have been proven to improve the quality of life of people with arthritis by strengthening partnerships and increasing public awareness.
The Arthritis Program has a staff with expertise in behavioral science, epidemiology, health communication, health education, health policy, and project management. Currently, there are 14 full-time staff devoting their efforts to the Arthritis Program at the CDC. Program staff are involved in providing technical assistance for research and programmatic efforts, collaborating with state and national programs, analyzing data, and producing scientific reports.
Addressing the burden of arthritis requires coordinated and collaborative efforts among many organizations, including governmental and public health agencies, private organizations (such as the Arthritis Foundation, the Lupus Foundation of America, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, and the YMCA of the USA), aging agencies, health systems, and others. These types of alliances help to assure the needed comprehensive approach to arthritis.