Punjabi Sikh Women's Arthritis Self-management Experiences

  • Alison Hipwell

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Self-management interventions enhance the health self-management techniques and physical and psychological health outcomes among people with long-term health conditions (LTHCs). Few individuals from South Asian backgrounds attended the pilot phase of one such intervention: the Expert Patients Programme (EPP), a community-based self-management course. This raised concerns about exacerbating health inequalities. South Asian people have increased prevalence and severity of certain musculoskeletal conditions, yet little is known about their experiences of living with and self-managing these.

    This research aimed to rectify these omissions, by describing Punjabi Sikh women's experiences of living with and self-managing arthritis, and identifying barriers and facilitators to EPP. Three studies explored White and Punjabi Sikh EPP tutors‟ experiences of delivering EPP to South Asian attendees, and Punjabi Sikh women's experiences of living with and self-managing arthritis, both before and after they attended a Punjabi-language EPP.

    White and Punjabi Sikh tutors' sometimes dichotomous experiences of delivering EPP to South Asians, captured barriers to South Asian people's attendance, engagement and self-management. Facilitators identified included the need for sensitive tailoring of the Course, involving the Punjabi Sikh community. The Punjabi Sikh women's vibrant experiential accounts revealed the detrimental psychological and physical consequences that arthritis had upon their lives. Highly versatile in their proactive arthritis self-management prior to attending EPP, participants' refined techniques encompassed combinations of medication and Indian remedies, empowered by their religious and spiritual values. Following EPP attendance, the participants reported psychological and physical improvements in their arthritis. Thus, this Study established Punjabi Sikh women's inherent acceptance of the concept of self-management, and, notwithstanding its current limitations, the likely appropriateness of EPP.

    Every Study represents a novel contribution to knowledge. Meaningful engagement with Punjabi Sikh community-members may produce a culturally-competent intervention that could better improve this group's physical and psychological outcomes, thus addressing one small area of health inequalities.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorAndy Turner (Supervisor)

    Cite this