Understanding rheumatoid arthritis. Evaluation of a patient education program

JAMA. 1978 Jun 9;239(23):2466-7. doi: 10.1001/jama.239.23.2466.


We evaluated a patient education program on understanding rheumatoid arthritis; 94% of those responding to our questionnaire considered the program helpful in increasing their understanding of their condition, and 93% said it enhanced their communication with their family. A total of 85% reported one or more behavioral changes, such as not abusing joints (63%), getting more rest (56%), and using medications more meticulously (48%) after participating in the program. We recommend patient education as an effective means of helping patients understand and hence comply with physicians' instructions as well as helping patients to assume greater responsibility for their own health care.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / therapy
  • California
  • Chronic Disease
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic*