ABSTRACT: Studies on the effectiveness of information provision for patients with arthritis through the Internet are scarce. This study aimed to describe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients' knowledge and information needs before and after launching a website providing information on regional health care services for patients with rheumatic conditions. The intervention consisted of a weekly updated website comprising practical information on regional health care services for patients with arthritis. In addition, patients were offered information leaflets and an information meeting. Before (T1) and 24 months after (T2) the website was launched, a random sample of 400 RA patients filled in a questionnaire regarding knowledge and information need (scores 0-18) about accessibility and contents of 18 regional health care services. Two hundred and fifty-one patients returned the questionnaire (response rate 63%) at T1 and 200 patients (50%) at T2, respectively, with 160 paired observations (112 females (70%), mean age 60.4 years (SD 9.9)). The total score for insufficient knowledge about contents decreased from 9.3 (SD 4.9) to 8.5 (SD 4.8; p = 0.03) and for accessibility from 8.6 (SD 4.7) to 8.4 (SD 4.9; p = 0.59). Total score for information need about contents decreased from 4.2 (SD 4.5) to 1.9 (SD 2.9; p < 0.01) and for accessibility from 3.6 (SD 4.5) to 1.4 (SD 2.4; p < 0.01) (paired t-tests).After the administration of a website comprising practical health care information, RA patients' information need and to a lesser extent their perception of having insufficient knowledge on relevant regional health care services decreased significantly. The results of this descriptive study suggest that the use of the Internet to inform patients may be effective, although controlled studies are required to evaluate and optimize web-delivered information.
Clinical Rheumatology 12/2011; 31(4):637-45. · 2.00 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To describe the usage of functional wrist orthoses and to identify factors contributing to usage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
A multicentre, cross-sectional study, including a random selection of patients with RA visiting outpatient clinics. A total of 240/362 eligible patients (66%) completed questionnaires, a semi-structured interview and a clinical assessment. Usage was registered according to eight categories ranging from 'always' to 'never'. Factors potentially associated with usage included demographic variables, the presence of wrist and hand complaints, general disease characteristics, mental and physical functioning, coping strategies and satisfaction with functional wrist orthoses. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine which factors were associated with the usage of wrist splints.
One hundred twenty-eight patients (53%) possessed functional wrist orthoses, whereas 74/128 (58%) were actually using them. Patients used them mainly during house keeping and cycling/driving. Main reasons for using the orthoses were relief of pain and joint protection, and main reasons for not using them were no need and problems with ease of use. Factors significantly associated with usage included the presence of wrist and hand complaints, worse physical functioning and greater satisfaction with comfort of the wrist orthoses.
About half of patients with RA possessed functional wrist orthoses, with 58% of them actually being used. Apart from local complaints and general functional ability, satisfaction with comfort of the functional wrist orthoses appears to be an important factor for their usage. These results point at the need for additional research regarding modifiable factors associated with compliance, such as comfort and ease of use.
Disability and Rehabilitation 02/2008; 30(4):286-95. · 1.50 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Although promoting physical activity (PA) and exercise among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is highly advocated nowadays, little is known about actual PA levels of these patients. In particular, the literature investigating how these PA levels are in proportion to the levels among the general population is scarce.
To compare the self-reported PA levels of patients with RA with those of the general Dutch population.
A sample of 400 RA patients were sent the Short QUestionnaire to ASsess Health-Enhancing PA comprising 10 questions about PA. From these data the proportions meeting the Dutch public health recommendation for PA (i.e., moderate PA for 30 minutes on > or = 5 days/wk) and the total number of minutes of PA per week were calculated. These data were compared with similar data from a representative sample of the general Dutch population.
Two hundred fifty-two patients returned the questionnaire (response 63%). The proportions of RA patients meeting the PA recommendation were similar to those of the general population (57% in categories 45-64 years; 59% in categories > or = 65 years, and 58% in the total groups). The average number of minutes of PA per week was significantly lower in the RA population compared with the general population in the category 45 to 64 years (1836 vs. 2199, respectively, P = 0.001), whereas the difference in the category > or = 65 years was not significant (1115 vs. 1218 minutes, respectively, P = 0.33).
The proportion of RA patients meeting the Dutch PA recommendation was similar to the general Dutch population. However, with respect to the average number of minutes of PA per week, the RA patients were less physically active. Because patients with RA have an increased risk of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular diseases along with their arthritis, it remains a matter of utmost importance for health care professionals such as rheumatologists, physical therapists, and clinical nurse specialists to promote PA in daily clinical practice and guide patients in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
JCR Journal of Clinical Rheumatology 09/2007; 13(4):181-6. · 1.36 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: What type of physical activity or exercise is undertaken by people with rheumatoid arthritis? What type of physical activity or exercise do they prefer? What is their attitude towards physical activity or exercise? What are the perceived barriers to undertaking physical activity or exercise?
Survey of a random sample of people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Four hundred people with rheumatoid arthritis in the Netherlands.
Of the 252 people who returned the questionnaire (63% response) 201 (80%) people participated in some type of physical activity or exercise. Significantly more inactive people were male, less educated, and older than the active people. Of the active people, 45 (22%) participated exclusively in supervised activities, 72 (36%) in unsupervised activities, and 84 people (42%) combined supervised and unsupervised activities. Cycling and walking were the two unsupervised activities people performed most often. Supervised group exercise and unsupervised individual physical activity were reported as the favourite activities. Further, more people preferred being physically active under expert supervision than without supervision and preferred water-based over land-based activities. The most frequently-mentioned barriers were lack of energy, presence of pain, lack of motivation, lack of information, and fear of joint damage.
The majority of people with rheumatoid arthritis participated in some physical activity or exercise, mostly under supervision. Preferences for types of activity varied, underpinning the need for a variety of options for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
The Australian journal of physiotherapy 02/2007; 53(2):113-8. · 3.48 Impact Factor