Exercise and rheumatoid arthritis: what's in it for us?

Anne Breslin, Peter Maddison, Emily Oliver, David Markland, Rebecca-Jane Law, Lauren Mawn, Jeanette Thom

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


    Background: Exercise is considered an important component in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and has been found to improve aerobic capacity, muscle strength, functional ability and psychological well-being. However, RA patients are less active than the general population. Current perceptions of RA patients on the effects of exercise, specifically regarding joint health, have not been fully explored. This information would enhance the patient-centred approach to exercise prescription. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the current perceptions of the effects of exercise on joint health in RA patients. Methods: Following ethical approval, a purposive sample of 12 female and 6 male RA outpatients (mean age: 59.1 13.6 years; disease duration: 2.5 months–33 years; HAQ score: 1.0 0.7) were recruited. In total, 4 moderated focus group interviews (4–6 patients in each group) were conducted following a piloted interview guide. The following primary questions were addressed: a) How do you feel exercise affects your joints? and b) What affects your exercise behaviour? Discussions were digitally recorded and transcribed with 455 meaning units identified. An inductive, thematic analysis was conducted using established techniques. To enhance scientific rigour, an assistant moderator provided a closing summary at each focus group. Transcriptions were independently analysed and discussion with a third analyst allowed for consensus validation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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