A disease-specific self-help program compared with a generalized chronic disease self-help program for arthritis patients

Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Dec 15;53(6):950-7. doi: 10.1002/art.21604.


Objective: Both the Arthritis Self-Management Program (ASMP) and the generic Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) have been shown to be successful in improving conditions in patients with arthritis. This study compared the relative effectiveness of the 2 programs for individuals with arthritis.

Methods: Patients whose primary disease was arthritis were randomized to the ASMP (n = 239) or to the CDSMP (n = 116). Analyses of covariance were used to compare the outcome measures for the 2 programs at 4 months and 1 year. Measures included quality of life outcomes (self reported, health distress, disability, activity limitation, global health, pain, and fatigue), health behaviors (practice of mental stress management, stretching and strength exercise, aerobic exercise), self efficacy, and health care utilization (physician visits and hospitalizations).

Results: Both programs showed positive results. The disease-specific ASMP appeared to have advantages over the more generic CDSMP for patients with arthritis at 4 months. These advantages had lessened slightly by 1 year.

Conclusion: The disease-specific ASMP should be considered first where there are sufficient resources and participants. However, both programs had positive effects, and the CDSMP should be considered a viable alternative.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome