How do adolescents with juvenile chronic arthritis consider their disease related knowledge, their unmet service needs, and the attractiveness of various services?

Eur J Med Res. 2002 Jan 29;7(1):8-18.


Aims: To explore the information needs of adolescents with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) with respect to patient education and other measures to promote self-management.

Methods: Standardized cross-sectional inquiry concerning disease-related knowledge, perceived importance of information giving, unmet needs as well as perceived attractiveness of a range of services (lecture, structured patient education, support group, self-help group) to promote self-management.

Sample: N = 48 adolescents (68% of all adolescents with JCA of our outpatient clinic); mean age x = 14.9 (+/- 2.1) years; 56% female; 17% had the oligoarthritis form of JCA, 40% juvenile spondylarthritis, 25% polyarthritis and systemic form, 19% other rheumatic diseases.

Results: The majority of adolescents considered themselves as sufficiently well-informed and voted in favour of detailed information giving. However, 30% were unsatisfied with their current information and knowledge. Information needs predominantly related to the prognosis, course, and treatment of JCA, whereas the psychosocial impact (except sports and job matters) were judged as less important. Adolescents with a lower level of education were generally more interested than those with a high level of education. As for the attractiveness of services nearly half of the adolescents judged all of them as not very attractive.

Conclusions: The majority of adolescents is interested in detailed information giving and some of them point to unmet needs, but nearly half of them is hesitant towards services which are delivered in a group format (such as structured patient education or support groups).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / psychology*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Surveys and Questionnaires