Evaluation of a community arthritis program in Australia: Dissemination of a developed program



Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based arthritis education program conducted in a number of locations throughout the Sydney, Australia, metropolitan area.

Methods. The program, based on earlier work, comprised 6 weekly sessions of 2.5 hours' duration. The study sample included 175 men and women with different types of arthritis, divided into intervention (n = 104) and control (n = 71) groups. Five outcome measures were selected to evaluate effectiveness of the program: pain perception, knowledge level, self-efficacy, disability index, and self-management behavior.

Results. The results indicated that the program was effective in increasing knowledge level ( F[1,222] = 10.3, P = 0.001 at 6 weeks; F[1,108] = 7.8, P = 0.006 at 6 months), and a statistically significant difference was found in disability satisfaction 6 months after intervention ([F 1,98] = 5.9, P = 0.01), but no statistically significant difference was found in pain perception, self-efficacy, and disability index.

Conclusion. This research supports some of the successful outcomes which follow an arthritis edu-cation program: increased knowledge level and increased disability satisfaction.