The GoodHope Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Clinic: development and implementation of the first interdisciplinary program for multi-system issues in connective tissue disorders at the Toronto General Hospital Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractEhlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) are a heterogeneous group of genetic connective tissue disorders, and typically manifests as weak joints that subluxate/dislocate, stretchy and/or fragile skin, organ/systems dysfunction, and significant widespread pain. Historically, this syndrome has been poorly understood and often overlooked. As a result, people living with EDS had difficulty obtaining an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, leading to untold personal suffering as well as ineffective health care utilization. The GoodHope EDS clinic addresses systemic gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of EDS. This paper describes a leap forward—from lack of awareness, diagnosis, and treatment—to expert care that is tailored to meet the specific needs of patients with EDS. The GoodHope EDS clinic consists of experts from various medical specialties who work together to provide comprehensive care that addresses the multi-systemic nature of the syndrome. In addition, EDS-specific self-management programs have been developed that draw on exercise science, rehabilitation, and health psychology to improve physical and psychosocial wellbeing and overall quality of life. Embedded into the program are research initiatives to shed light on the clinical presentation, underlying mechanisms of pathophysiology, and syndrome management. We also lead regular educational activities for community health care providers to increase awareness and competence in the interprofessional management of EDS beyond our doors and throughout the province and country.

authors

  • Mittal, Nimish
  • Mina, Daniel Santa
  • McGillis, Laura
  • Weinrib, Aliza
  • Slepian, P Maxwell
  • Rachinsky, Maxim
  • Buryk-Iggers, Stephanie
  • Laflamme, Camille
  • Lopez-Hernandez, Laura
  • Hussey, Laura
  • Katz, Joel
  • McLean, Lianne
  • Rozenberg, Dmitry
  • Liu, Louis
  • Tse, Yvonne
  • Parker, Colleen
  • Adler, Arnon
  • Charames, George
  • Bleakney, Robert
  • Veillette, Christian
  • Nielson, Christopher J
  • Tavares, Sandra
  • Varriano, Stephanie
  • Guzman, Juan Camilo
  • Faghfoury, Hanna
  • Clarke, Hance

publication date

  • December 2021