Women's Perceptions on Managing Chronic Arthritis

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The development of self-management strategies is an important aspect of living with chronic arthritis and an intervention to which occupational therapists devote a significant amount of time. Within this context, the evidence base is informed predominantly by research undertaken from a psychological perspective. Sociological approaches to living with chronic illness provide valuable insights into the personal perspectives of living with and managing chronic illness. Located within a sociological perspective and focusing on women with chronic arthritis, this study aimed to gain a greater understanding of the strategies that the women used to maintain activity and the integration of such strategies into their lifestyles.

A longitudinal qualitative study using interviews, diaries and focus groups was conducted over a period of 2 years. The interviews and focus groups were recorded, transcribed and analysed to identify key themes and concepts. The diaries were analysed to provide insights into the daily activities of the women. Three interrelated themes were identified: the embodied experience of living with chronic arthritis, the development and use of strategies and the integration of the strategies into the women's evolving personal context. This paper explores these themes and discusses their implications for the development of self-management programmes informed by the experiences of people living with these impairments.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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