Behavior change following a self-management intervention for housebound older adults with arthritis: an experimental study

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2006 May 30;3:12. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-3-12.


Background: This study examined the impact of a home-based self-management intervention for housebound older adults with arthritis on the adoption of health behaviors. The moderating role of socio-demographic, psychological, and physical characteristics in the process of behavior change was also investigated.

Methods: Participants were 113 older adult women (n = 102) and men (n = 11) with osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were randomly assigned to experimental (n = 68) or wait list control (n = 45) groups. Participants were interviewed using standardized questionnaires at baseline, pre-intervention, and post-intervention.

Results: Adjusted multilevel modeling analyses indicated that from pre to post intervention, experimental participants significantly increased their weekly frequency of exercise and relaxation activities. Socioeconomic status and depression played a moderating role in this change for exercise with larger effects occurring among more privileged, non-depressed participants.

Conclusion: We conclude that a self-management intervention can successfully improve involvement in exercise and relaxation among housebound older adults with arthritis.