Improving arthritis self-management among older adults: 'just what the doctor didn't order'

Julie H. Barlow, B. Williams, C. Wright

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    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective. Community‐based health interventions have been shown to be effective in promoting arthritis self‐management amongst people in North America. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of such programmes among older people in the UK. Design. The study was a multiple baseline, pre‐test–post‐test design of 62 older people (> 55 years of age) attending Arthritis Self‐Management Programmes (ASMP) delivered in community settings. Method. Data were collected by self‐administered questionnaires at two points in time: prior to the intervention and after the intervention, four months from baseline. Results. The sample comprised 94 per cent women, with a mean age of 69 and mean disease duration of 26 years. Most participants had either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Results showed that after four months, participants demonstrated significant increases in arthritis self‐efficacy (p < .0005), positive affect (p = .042), cognitive symptom management (p < .0005), communication with doctors (p =< .0005), exercise (p < .0005) and relaxation (p < .0005). In addition, significant decreases were found in terms of pain (p = .026), depression (p = .042) and visits to GPs (p = .013). Conclusion. This first evaluation of the ASMP delivered in community settings suggests that this form of health intervention is not only acceptable to older people in the UK, but can offer considerable benefits in terms of arthritis self‐efficacy, increased use of self‐management strategies such as exercise, a reduction in pain and improved psychological well‐being
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-186
    JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 1997

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