To determine if there are differences or similarities in arthritis intervention preferences and barriers to participation between African Americans and whites with osteoarthritis (OA).


Using a needs assessment survey, intervention preferences and barriers to participation in arthritis interventions among African American (n = 60) and white (n = 55) adults with self-reported doctor-diagnosed OA were examined. T-tests, chi-square tests, and multiple regression analyses adjusting for covariates were examined to determine race effects.


While there were many similarities, African Americans were more likely to report cost (P < 0.01), lack of trust (P = 0.04), fear of being the only person of their race (P < 0.001), lack of recommendation from their doctor (P = 0.04), and lack of recommendation of a family member or friend (P = 0.02) as barriers to participating in a community-based self-management arthritis intervention. After adjusting for covariates, African Americans preferred interventions that provide information on arthritis-related internet sources (P = 0.04), solving arthritis-related problems (P = 0.04), and talking to family and friends about their condition (P = 0.02) in comparison to whites. African Americans also preferred an intervention with child care services provided (P < 0.01), with instructors and participants of the same race (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) or sex (P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively), that allows a friend (P = 0.001) or family member (P = 0.02) to attend, that is offered at a local church (P = 0.01) or clinic (P < 0.01), or that is mailed (P < 0.01).


Findings suggest that similar interventions are preferred across racial groups, but some practical adaptations could be made to existing arthritis interventions to minimize barriers, increase cultural sensitivity, and offer programs that would be appealing to African Americans and whites with arthritis.