• arthritis;
  • psychometrics;
  • self-management;
  • stages of change

The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the Readiness to Manage Arthritis Questionnaire (RMAQ), a new multibehavior measure of readiness for change in arthritis management. Data were obtained from 46 patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis admitted for intensive treatment. Test-retest reliability, correlations with clinical variables and theoretically related constructs, and responsiveness to change were assessed. Test-retest reliability indicated reasonable stability, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.30 to 0.75. A significant association was observed between psychological well-being and readiness status. Clinical variables of disease duration, disease severity, pain, and function were not related to readiness status. Correlations between stages-of-change scores and self-efficacy for managing arthritis symptoms were mostly nonsignificant, with the exception of modest agreement between readiness to engage in physical activity and exercise self-efficacy (0.43). Significant changes were observed in mean RMAQ scores from initial assessment to 12 weeks post-treatment for the behaviors of using joint protection, dealing with frustration, learning about arthritis, engaging in physical activity, and stress management. Findings from this pilot study suggest that the RMAQ has adequate psychometric properties in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis and can be used to assess an individual's readiness to adopt important arthritis self-management behaviors.