Presented by Ms McDonald and Ms Dietrich in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an MOT degree, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Exploring occupational disruption among women after onset of rheumatoid arthritis†
Article first published online: 25 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 64, Issue 2, pages 197–205, February 2012
How to Cite
McDonald, H. N., Dietrich, T., Townsend, A., Li, L. C., Cox, S. and Backman, C. L. (2012), Exploring occupational disruption among women after onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res, 64: 197–205. doi: 10.1002/acr.20668
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 25 JAN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 OCT 2011 10:25AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 14 APR 2011
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation (funding for the original Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Help Seeking Experience study)
- American College of Rheumatology Health Professional New Investigator Award
To portray experiences of women engaging in everyday tasks, activities, and occupations, from symptom onset to 12 months after diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and to explore the meanings attributed to their activities and occupations.
A secondary analysis of qualitative data, guided by phenomenography, explored the stories of 37 women with early RA. The original study used in-depth interviews to explore the help-seeking process from first symptom to diagnosis, and results indicated unexplored impacts on activity, stimulating the present analysis. Transcripts were read and coded by 3 investigators and then debated by the full team with this new research objective in mind. Descriptive categories were formed through a systematic, iterative approach with a focus on how early RA impacted daily routines and participation in occupation.
Participants recounted a range of experiences characterized by changes in the way they engaged in occupations as a result of RA symptoms. Four interrelated categories were identified: uncertainties associated with good days, bad days, and worse days; experiencing activity disruption; doing things differently, which was perceived both positively and negatively; and changing views of self, as participants developed identities as individuals living with RA.
Daily activities and occupational identity can be profoundly impacted in the first 12 months after diagnosis with RA, resulting in significant life changes. Health professionals are encouraged to identify disrupted activities, facilitate participation in valued occupations, and create environments that enable patients to explore changes in identity to prevent negative life consequences.