A comparison of the arthritis foundation self-help program across three race/ethnicity groups.
Aged, 80 and over
European Continental Ancestry Group
Muscle Stretching Exercises
New York City
Despite high prevalence rates of pain among older adults, relatively few studies have examined the impact of the Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Program (ASHP) in this age group, particularly older minority groups.
This study compared the effects of the ASHP on groups of Hispanic, African American and non-Hispanic White older adults.
Three senior centers in New York City.
Data are presented for 112 (37 African American, 38 Hispanic and 37 non-Hispanic White) participants (mean age= 75 years) age 60 and over with diverse noncancer pain disorders.
Participants enrolled in the 6-week Arthritis Self Help Course.
Participants were surveyed before and after course completion (in person) and at 18 weeks (by telephone). Demographic and clinical data were collected at baseline; outcomes included pain, mood, self-efficacy, and number of days per week spent exercising.
All three groups experienced significant decreases in pain intensity (P< or =.05). Significant improvements were also found in mood scores for non-Hispanic White (P=.01) and Hispanic participants (P=.03). Hispanic participants also evidenced significant improvement in their confidence to self-manage pain (P=.003) and reported fewer arthritis-related symptoms (P=.02). All three race/ethnicity groups reported substantial increases in the number of days spent doing stretching, endurance and relaxation exercises (P< or =.01).
Positive results were noted for all three race/ethnicity groups, particularly in the areas of pain reduction and uptake of stretching, endurance and relaxation exercises. Our findings support efforts to disseminate broadly the ASHP in community settings that serve older African American, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adults.