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Clin Rehabil. 1999 Oct;13(5):392-400.

The effect of a joint protection education programme for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

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1
School of Health and Community Studies, University of Derby, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of an education programme in improving adherence with joint protection by people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

DESIGN:

A repeated measures design. Subjects were assessed at six weeks and one week before and six and twelve weeks after education.

SETTING:

Rheumatology unit in a large district general hospital.

SUBJECTS:

Twenty-one people diagnosed with RA (mean age 48.95 years (SD 12.54) and disease duration of 6.43 years (SD 7.7) ).

INTERVENTION:

An 8-hour arthritis education programme delivered over four sessions, including two hours of joint protection education designed to be typical of current UK practice.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The Joint Protection Behaviour Assessment (JPBA), an observational assessment of hand joint protection methods used during kitchen activities, to measure adherence with education. Other assessments included a joint protection knowledge questionnaire, hand joint counts, hand pain visual analogue scale, the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and HAQ Pain scale to identify any short-term changes in hand pain, pain on activity and functional status. At the beginning and end of the study subjects were interviewed to obtain their self-report of joint protection behaviours and reasons for following or not following the advice given.

RESULTS:

Median JPBA scores did not improve pre- to posteducation (18.4% to 23.7%; p = 0.65) and neither did hand joint count, hand pain, HAQ and HAQ Pain scores. However, joint protection knowledge improved significantly (p = 0.01) and the majority of people believed joint protection to be a beneficial strategy. Reasons for not changing behaviour included problems recalling information; joint protection being considered inappropriate as 'hands were not that bad yet'; lack of skill; and difficulties changing habits.

CONCLUSION:

The joint protection education programme improved knowledge but not use of taught methods. Educational strategies being used by therapists need to be focused on enhancing adherence.

PMID:
10498346
DOI:
10.1191/026921599667005364
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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