Program Teaches Self-Management
A cognitive-behavioral-based programto help patients manage theirarthritis showed continued improvementsin pain and daily functioning inosteoarthritis of the hip or knee. Thestudy included 273 patients aged 40to 60 years. During the 3-month study,the participants were randomlyassigned to self-management or careby a family physician or specialist.The self-management programinvolved six 2-hour sessions thattaught the patients goal setting to optimizeactivity levels, self-relaxation forpain control, self-diagnostic skills, andproblem solving tears.
Reporting in the Journal ofRheumatology (March 2005), theresearchers noted an averagedecrease in knee pain of 0.67 pointson the pain severity scale in the interventiongroup, compared with nochange in the physician-care group.The participants'scores on 2 questionnairesthat measured functionalstatus indicated an improvement of2.45 points in the self-managementgroup, compared with a decline of0.53 points in the physician group.