Arthritis self-management program variations: Three studies



Objectives. (1) Determine strengths and weaknesses of the Arthritis Self-Management Program (ASMP). (2) Compare 3- and 6-week ASMP. (3) Evaluate 1.5-hour arthritis program.

Methods. Study 1: Qualitative methods incorporating incomplete block design. Study 2: Comparison of 3- and 6-week outcomes. Study 3: Pretest/ posttest comparison.

Results. Study 1: Pain management, exercise, and sharing ranked as the most useful aspects of the ASMP. Nutrition, medications, and making decisions about nontraditional treatments ranked least useful. Study 2: Six-week ASMP subjects improved pain, health distress, illness impact, exercise, cognitive pain management, self-efficacy, and reduced visits to physicians (P < 0.05). Three-week subjects improved health distress, cognitive pain management, and self-efficacy (P < 0.05). Study 3: Improved knowledge, self-efficacy, and pain (P < 0.05).

Conclusions. The traditional 6-week ASMP is more effective than a 3-week version. A 1.5-hour community program is effective in increasing knowledge, self-efficacy, and contact with the Arthritis Foundation.