Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that often results in inflammation, pain, fatigue, functional impairment, and psychosocial difficulties. The current study examines the effectiveness, feasibility, and sustainability of an interdisciplinary chronic pain intervention for patients with RA. Wearable fitness trackers were incorporated into the intervention and objectively measured participant physical activity. A total of 44 participants received the intervention and completed outcome measures. Results supported improvements across multiple domains at the end of treatment and at 4-week follow-up compared to treatment baseline. Mixed multilevel repeated measures modeling revealed significant overall improvements in many primary (i.e., self-efficacy for managing chronic disease, pain intensity, pain interference, depression, and health-related quality of life), secondary (i.e., physical functioning, overall quality of life, and chronic pain acceptance), and in an objective measure of physical activity (i.e., average steps per day). Effect sizes were generally small to medium and were similar to or better than those reported in meta-analyses. Patients with comorbid fibromyalgia syndrome recorded significantly worse scores across measures, but showed steady improvement throughout the intervention. Mixed-method analysis suggested that patients were interested in and satisfied with the intervention. Implications for optimization and long-term sustainability are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
DePesa, Natasha, "Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Chronic Arthritis Pain Group Intervention in an Outpatient Healthcare Setting" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5300.