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Womens Health Issues. 2011 Jan-Feb;21(1):57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.07.010. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

General and arthritis-specific barriers to moderate physical activity in women with arthritis.

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Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73019, USA.



most women with arthritis are insufficiently active, despite the health benefits derived from participation in moderate physical activity (MPA). Understanding perceived barriers that make it difficult for women with arthritis to be active is needed to inform interventions. Barriers are often assessed through investigator-provided lists, containing mainly general, personal, and situational barriers, common across populations (e.g., lack of time). However, identifying an encompassing range of problematic barriers that challenge women's activity participation is needed. Such barriers may be general and arthritis specific (e.g., pain). Problematic barriers may be best identified through assessment of whether individuals actually experience these barriers (i.e., are present) and, for present barriers, their extent of limitation on activity. Thus, the primary study purpose was to examine whether the presence of general and arthritis-specific barrier categories and the limitation of these overall categories were significant predictors of participation in MPA among women with arthritis (n = 248).


on-line measures of barriers and MPA were completed.


a multiple regression model predicting activity was significant (r(2)(adjusted) = .22; p < .01). Both arthritis-specific and general barrier limitation were the strongest predictors of activity. Arthritis-specific personal barriers were reported as being present most often (e.g., pain).


interventions should identify problematic barriers, taking into account the extent to which both general and disease-specific barriers limit activity, and then target their alleviation through the use of coping strategies as a way to improve activity adherence and health among women with arthritis.

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