Arthritis Patients Use a Variety of Self-Management Techniques

Arthritis patients use dozens of techniques to manage their disease, but drugstore remedies and health providers still top the list, according to research presented at the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Scientific Meeting Nov. 13-17 in Boston, Mass.

“In chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the patient is the primary cure provider and the individual who understands the best way to manage his or her condition,” said lead investigator Leigh Callahan, PhD, of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The researchers administered a questionnaire to 346 rheumatoid arthritis patients in North Carolina to assess whether the subject had ever used one of 150 commonly used self-management practices and resources. They ranged from medications and supplements to use of providers and information sources. Ninety-four percent of responders reported using prescription medications, half used non-prescription medications, and 29 percent used non-prescription sleep aids. When asked about lotions, oils and liniments, 69 percent reported using a lotion such as Ben-Gay, and more than 10 percent reported using WD-40. A health care provider was named a source of information on self-management by 92 percent of respondents. Magazines and television were sources of information for 64 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

Source: The Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals

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