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Abstract

We compared a cognitive-behavior modification and a traditional education intervention for adults with osteoarthritis (OA). Forty OA patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: cognitive-behavior modification or didactic lectures. During ten weekly sessions, the cognitive-behavior group learned methods for coping with pain and the disabilities associated with OA. The traditional education group experienced a series of lectures from health care professionals. Prior to the interventions and following 2, 6, and 12 months, patients in both groups were evaluated with a general Quality of Well-being (QWB) scale, the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and other measures. Although there were some differences between the two groups at 2-month follow-up, by the end of 1 year, physical and psychological functioning did not differ significantly between the two groups. In comparison to baseline, both groups demonstrated initial changes on QWB, depression, and the pain component of the AIMS. Improvements in depression remained through the 1-year follow-up. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that the mobility and physical activity aspects of the AIMS were significant long-term predictors of outcome (1 year) for general quality-of-Life measures. One-year outcomes for depression were significantly predicted from scores on social support and mobility measures from the AIMS. We conclude that cognitive-behavior modification and education produce similar effects on long-term physical and psychological functioning in OA patients.