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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) refers to a group of conditions causing inflammation and damage of the joints, starting in children and young people under 16 ( CYP). Treatments include anti-inflammatory medicines, disease modifying/biologic medicines and corticosteroids. Young people often require corticosteroids at the start of treatment or in a flare with worsening inflammation to get their JIA under control. A short course of corticosteroids can help and can be given by joint injection, through a drip into a vein, by muscle injection, and by tablets/liquid. Although they have been used for decades there is no research to show the best way(s) of giving corticosteroids.
1) To agree on what corticosteroid treatments to compare in a treatment trial and the best measure of changes in JIA to use for a quick acting treatment.
2) To find out if there are enough young people with active JIA in the UK to be included.
Published research on steroids in JIA was reviewed. Healthcare professionals were asked how they choose to use steroids. Interviews with CYP/ families: a) considered the design of a study comparing steroid routes; b) identified outcomes important to young people/families; and c) questioned whether they would be willing to take part in a future study. A three-month clinical study was done to collect details of CYP with active JIA before and after steroid treatment to measure improvements in JIA activity and to see whether a bigger study would be possible.