Evidence suggesting that health education for self-management in patients with chronic arthritis has sustained health benefits while reducing health care costs

Arthritis Rheum. 1993 Apr;36(4):439-46. doi: 10.1002/art.1780360403.


Objective: To determine the effects of the Arthritis Self-Management Program 4 years after participation in it.

Methods: Valid self-administered instruments were used to measure health status, psychological states, and health service utilization.

Results: Pain had declined a mean of 20% and visits to physicians 40%, while physical disability had increased 9%. Comparison groups did not show similar changes. Estimated 4-year savings were $648 per rheumatoid arthritis patient and $189 per osteoarthritis patient.

Conclusion: Health education in chronic arthritis may add significant and sustained benefits to conventional therapy while reducing costs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / economics*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Education*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Insurance Benefits
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / economics*
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*