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Web-Based Spanish Information Service for Rheumatology.
Results After A Two Years' Experience.

MA Belmonte (Rheumatology & Bioinformatics, Hospital General, Castellon, Spain)
I Puell (Spanish Soc Rheumatol, Madrid,Spain)
E Martin Mola (Rheumatology, Hospital La Paz, Madrid)
L R Arboleya (Reumatologia, Hospital Rio Carrion, Palencia, Spain)

Contact Person: Miquel A Belmonte (


 Since 1996 the Spanish Society for Rheumatology (SER) has been developing a website with the purposes of: a) to provide information about rheumatic diseases to the general population, b) to give access of educational resources to the medical and patient communities, c) to disseminate the scientific production produced by the members of this society, and d) to keep members informed about the latest news related with their speciality.

The main sections of our website, located at, are: Society (organigram, bulletin, projects description, and news of the SER), Searchable Directory of members, Library (with links to online journals and all the summaries of our own Journal -Revista Española de Reumatologia- since 1995, including some full-text review articles), Agenda of Meetings and Congresses, and Medical Education with extensive documentation regarding rheumatic diseases in plain spanish, which has been found very useful and easy to read for lay people. Diseases covered are the most frequent types of arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromialgia, vasculitis, and autoimmune diseases including lupus erythematosus.

Current statistics for our website are: Total size of 6.1 MB, with 134 HTML pages and 157 image files. The language used in our website is all spanish, though we are planning an english version soon.

In this 22 months of service we have been visited over 25.000 times, in an ever-growing rate (11.200 in the last 5 months, averaging 80-120 daily). According to Nedstat statistics, 51% of the hits come from Spain, 14.6 from North and Latin-America and 29.5 are of unkown origin.

We also have created a distribution email list to foster scientific rheumatology discussions. The list, named REUMA, is based in Listserv and product of a collaborative effort with RedIRIS, the main spanish center for scientific telematics development.

The list has now 151 subscribers (one fourth come from Latin-America) and manages 4-6 messages a day. Only health workers (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists...) are allowed to subscribe, to avoid disturbing questions from lay people. However, anyone can read the archives located in

In general, subscribers seem to have positive feelings about the list, and the rate of unsubscriptions is very low.

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Poster Number PAbelmonte0491

Keywords: rheumatology, patient education, website, medical societies, arthritis, osteoporosis
Category: Clinical Science Sub-category: Rheumatology

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