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J Aging Health. 2008 Mar;20(2):198-216. doi: 10.1177/0898264307310464.

Self-care and professionally guided care in osteoarthritis: racial differences in a population-based sample.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, A211 Crabtree, 130 DeSoto St., Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. smalbert@pitt.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of self-management practices among older White and African American persons with osteoarthritis. Self-management was defined broadly to include all behaviors adopted to reduce morbidity, whether recommended by physicians or not.

METHODS:

A population-based sample of Medicare beneficiaries (N = 551) was recruited. An expanded set of self-management behaviors using structured and open-ended inquiry, along with use of arthritis-specific medications was elicited.

RESULTS:

Few differences in self-care behaviors between race groups were found. However, older African American persons were significantly less likely to have prescriptions for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and more likely to use over-the-counter nonprescription analgesics.

DISCUSSION:

Older White and African American persons made similar use of self-care strategies to reduce disease morbidity. African Americans without access to prescription pain relievers substituted nonprescription analgesics. A broader view of self-management is valuable for assessing the ways people may move between professionally guided care and self-care.

PMID:
18287328
PMCID:
PMC2586761
DOI:
10.1177/0898264307310464
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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