Objective: To compare elderly African American and white patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip with respect to their perceptions of the efficacy of traditional and complementary treatments and their self-care practices.
Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study design using structured questionnaires was employed.
Results: The sample consisted of 593 patients (44% African American and 56% white). The 2 groups were comparable with respect to age, disease severity or functional status, and comorbidities. African Americans were more likely than whites to report lower educational level and household income. African Americans were also more likely than whites to perceive various traditional and complementary care modalities as efficacious. However, they were less likely than whites to perceive joint replacement therapy as efficacious (odds ratio 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.28-0.98). African American patients were more likely than white patients to rely on self-care measures for their arthritis.
Conclusion: African American and white patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip differ with respect to their perceptions of traditional and complementary treatments for arthritis and their self-care practices.