I do surveys and blind product testing for a couple companies (nothing that I post here- my product reviews are personal and out of my own pocket). The other day I had a survey on health. This always fascinates me because it gives me an insight into how businesses (in this case, most likely pharma) classifies illnesses.
This round, I was asked what conditions I had been diagnosed with and a long checklist followed. First item on the list? Arthritis/Rheumatoid. Next? Autoimmune disease.
I blinked a few times and thought that over. Technically, Rheumatoid Arthritis IS an autoimmune disease. In my case, due to my “acquired thyroid disease” I checked off both, but it was a very telling distinction that they grouped Rheumatoid with arthritis rather than AIs. No wonder consumers are confused about RA, when the companies that market products aren’t even sure how to classify it. Or was the company just following public definitions?
I really can’t read too much into this- it was one question out of scores. But it comes up periodically, and the more involved I become with clinical trials the more survey companies will send me these questions. I just wish they had a feedback field (the last two health surveys did not have this option) where I could pose the question.