Health locus of control, self-help and treatment adherence in relation to ankylosing spondylitis patients

Julie H. Barlow, S.J. Macey, G.R. Struthers

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    Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis characterised by an early onset and an active style of treatment involving regular exercise. Self-help groups for AS patients have developed in many countries as a means of promoting exercise treatment. The empirical section presents a comparative study of members and non-members of such groups along psychosocial dimensions including health locus of control, social support, and health behaviour. Self-help group members were distinguished by a combination of factors including a low reliance on powerful others health locus of control beliefs, greater satisfaction with available support, and increased frequency of exercise. A subsample showed improvements on physiological measurements over a 6-month period. The utility of including psychosocial variables in examination of rheumatic diseases is discussed and practical implications of these findings for health care professionals and future research are considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-166
    JournalPatient Education and Counseling
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - May 1993


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    • locus of control
    • treatment adherence
    • arthritis

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