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.