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Int J Clin Rheumtol. 2015;10(2):67-77.

Perceptions of physical activity engagement among adults with rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatologists.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, Movement & Rehabilitation Sciences, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, 301 C RB, Boston, MA 02115, USA ; Section of Clinical Sciences, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology & Allergy, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA ; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
2
Department of Physical Therapy, Movement & Rehabilitation Sciences, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, 301 C RB, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Section of Clinical Sciences, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology & Allergy, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
4
Section of Clinical Sciences, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology & Allergy, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA ; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

Physical activity (PA) among adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is suboptimal. This study assessed PA motivations and perceptions in adults with RA and rheumatologists.

METHODS:

Patients and rheumatologists participated in structured interviews led by a behavioral scientist. Sessions were audiotaped, transcribed and coded.

RESULTS:

Twenty-three patients (mean age = 63 [standard deviation = 10], 96% female) and seven rheumatologists (57% male, 29% fellows) participated. Nine themes emerged: communication with the rheumatologist, environment/access, symptom management, social support, mental health, breaking inactivity cycles, integrating PA into routines, staying in control and challenge/intimidation. Highly active patients viewed PA differently than low active patients. The need to compete with RA-free individuals may impede PA.

CONCLUSION:

Understanding how patients conceptualize PA will enable clinicians to formulate PA strategies to motivate patients.

KEYWORDS:

motivators; perceptions; physical activity; rheumatoid arthritis

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