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Clin Ther. 1986;9 Suppl B:43-52.

Psychosocial aspects of the multidisciplinary assessment of osteoarthritis.


The social network, family functioning, and health-protective behaviors of 77 osteoarthritis patients treated for 12 weeks by a multidisciplinary team were assessed. Measures included assessments of social network using components of the OARS, family satisfaction using the APGAR, family cohesion and adaptability using the FACES II, alcohol abuse using the CAGE, and indicators of health-protective behaviors. Participants were generally socially active, socially integrated, and satisfied with family relationships. Reported health-protective behaviors were low, indicating the need for assistance in improving preventive health practices. Few of the patients appeared to be at risk for alcoholism. Improvements in pain and activities of daily living were not correlated with changes in social functioning. Social functioning appeared to be relatively stable and not altered by short-term improvements in osteoarthritis. Social workers can play an important role in facilitating individual and family adjustment to the limitations imposed by osteoarthritis and in the rehabilitation process for osteoarthritis patients.

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