Effects of telephone intervention on arthritis self-efficacy, depression, pain, and fatigue in older adults with arthritis

J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2005;28(3):67-73.


Purpose: Arthritis self-efficacy (ASE) characterizes individuals' confidence in managing their arthritis. This study's purpose was to examine the effects of a telephone intervention on ASE, depression, pain, and fatigue in older adults with arthritis.

Methods: Eighty-five elders with arthritis were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Participants in both groups: (a) completed baseline assessments of ASE, depression, pain, and fatigue; (b) received written information on arthritis management; and (c) received individualized action plans for achieving their own arthritis management goal over the 6-week study. Participants in the intervention group received a telephone intervention including instruction on managing arthritis and encouragement to pursue their goal. In the sixth week the assessment tools were re-administered. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were employed.

Results: Quantitative analyses showed a significant increase in ASE and a significant reduction in depression and pain over time for both groups. Qualitative analyses revealed several themes related to benefits of telephone intervention.

Conclusion: Study results suggest that minimal intervention (ie, written information, goal-setting, and action plans) may produce positive changes in ASE, depression, and pain in some older adults with arthritis. Furthermore, telephone intervention may assist older patients in managing their arthritis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis / complications*
  • Arthritis / therapy*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Fatigue / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / complications*
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Telephone
  • Treatment Outcome