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Participation in committed and discretionary activities and quality of life in women with rheumatoid arthritis

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Purpose: This study explored participation in committed activities (activities that we are obliged to perform), discretionary activities (activities for recreation and pleasure) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Method: The study involved 238 females with RA. Self-reported participation in activities was measured by the Interest Checklist. The activities on the checklist were divided into committed and discretionary activities participated in during the past 10 years, the previous year and at the present time. HRQoL was measured by the Short-Form 36 (SF-36).

Results: The results showed significant decreases in participation in both committed and discretionary activities over the 10-year period. Multivariate analysis showed that high participation in committed activities was associated significantly with good physical function, whereas high participation in discretionary activities was associated significantly with psychological wellbeing and good physical function. Respectively, the significant associations accounted for 30% of the variance of committed activities and 41% of the variance of discretionary activities. Higher education was associated significantly with high participation in activities, particularly in discretionary activities.

Conclusion: Occupational therapists and other health professionals should assist females with RA, and especially those with less education, to maintain essential discretionary activities because this is associated with psychological wellbeing.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802212X13418284515794

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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