Wanted: Women with arthritis
Women with Arthritis and Physical Activity Study
The overall objective of this research is to promote regular physical activity participation among women with arthritis using an innovative theory-driven approach. This research is needed for three primary and related reasons.
First, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Canada, affecting one in six Canadians (Health Canada, 2003). Of these, women comprise almost two thirds of all arthritis cases (Health Canada, 2003).
Second, no cure exists for arthritis. As a result, participation in regular physical activity is an important non-pharmacological treatment for individuals suffering from arthritis (Arthritis Foundation et al., 1999; USDHHS, 2000). Although regular physical activity results in numerous health benefits, such as improved depression and health-related quality of life and decreased morning stiffness and pain, 75% of individuals with arthritis do not participate regularly (Hootman et al., 2003).
Third, this program of research will provide information needed to begin to understand social cognitions important in determining whether women with arthritis engage in regular physical activity. This study will examine attributions that adult women with arthritis make for their success or lack of success in meeting recommended levels of endurance physical activity. The relationship between attributions and the outcomes of self-regulatory efficacy (to schedule and to overcome barriers), barrier frequency and limitation, emotions, intention to be active, and physical activity will also be examined.
Finally, pain intensity and pain acceptance will be examined as potential moderators of the relationship between attributions and the aforementioned outcomes.
Participants for the study will be adult women who have been diagnosed with arthritis by a doctor from across Canada. Procedures will involve completion of an online survey to assess participants on demographics, social cognitions (i.e., pain acceptance, acute thinking about planned activity, self-regulatory efficacy, pain intensity perceptions, decisional struggle, perceived use of coping strategies, and intention to be active), and physical activity. Informed consent to participate in the study will be the first step of the online study (contains information regarding ethical approval and summarizing the study). The survey will be completed on a computer at a location of each participant’s choosing. The survey will take participants approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
All data will be kept completely confidential. This study has been approved on ethical grounds by the University of Saskatchewan on November 24, 2008 (ethics number is BEH05-230). This study has been funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).