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Scand J Occup Ther. 2013 Jan;20(1):29-36. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2012.661457. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Self-management strategies to support performance of daily activities in hand osteoarthritis.

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National Resource Centre for Rehabilitation in Rheumatology, Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



The main aim of this study was to explore self-management strategies in persons with hand osteoarthritis (HOA).


Self-management strategies were explored in semi-structured interviews, in which 125 participants described strategies, use of devices or equipment, and advice they would give to people with HOA concerning how to manage their daily life.


The participants made a total of 483 statements, which were classified into 27 discrete strategies, and thereafter grouped into 13 broader strategies within three categories: general behavioural strategies, HOA-specific behavioural strategies, and cognitive strategies. The broad strategy "activity accommodations" specifically addressed performance of daily activities in people with HOA, comprising "use assistive devices", "adapt tools, materials or working techniques", "practise activity pacing" and "stop or avoid certain activities", of which the two first were the most frequently stated by participants.


People with HOA use a wide variety of self-management strategies to support performance of daily activities, in which use of assistive devices and activity adaptation are the most frequently reported strategies. Patient-recommended self-management strategies should be included in written information material and patient education programmes, which should be developed in cooperation with patient representatives and made available for patients soon after they are diagnosed.

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