Limited results of group self-management education for rheumatoid arthritis patients and their partners: explanations from the patient perspective

Clin Rheumatol. 2008 Dec;27(12):1523-8. doi: 10.1007/s10067-008-0961-6. Epub 2008 Jul 18.


This study aimed to identify the reasons for limited results of group self-management for RA patients and their partners from the patient perspective. Semi-structured interviews with ten male and ten female patients who had participated in group self-management with or without their partner were content analyzed with respect to motivation to participate and the effects of the program on them. The limited effects of the self-management program appear to be linked with low motivation to participate and to change health behavior. The data show that a decline in health and also stressful life events might be associated with the disappointing effects of the program. Three strategies were proposed for improving the program's effects: (a) provide information about the program in advance to ensure that patients have appropriate expectations. (b) Enhance intrinsic motivation to change health behavior by counseling techniques. (c) Tailoring with respect to motivation and current concerns could help to form more homogeneous groups or could be the basis for a tailored online intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Self Care*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • Spouses