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Qual Health Res. 2012 Mar;22(3):360-72. doi: 10.1177/1049732311421179. Epub 2011 Sep 2.

Living with arthritis: using self-management of valued activities to promote health.

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University of South Florida Polytechnic, Lakeland, Florida, USA.


In this article, we explore how adults with arthritis use self-care strategies in their valued leisure activities, and variations in use based on their access to environmental resources. We conducted six focus groups (N = 34) with adults aged 55 and older with a diagnosis of arthritis. Adults living in residential communities were recruited, with 31% of the sample residing in subsidized housing. Focus group transcripts were analyzed using content analysis based on themes of selective optimization with compensation. We found some differences in strategy use between the resource-rich and resource-poor participants. Adults highlighted the value of their leisure activities and the importance of leisure in maintaining their health and well-being. Our findings point to the need to incorporate leisure education into interventions and programs targeting adults with arthritis.

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