A rather small expenditure of time resulted in improved quality of life in a group of more than 800 patients with arthritis.
But not everybody thinks it was worth the effort.
Participants received either six sessions of self-management of arthritis and an education booklet or just the education booklet.
At 12 months there was no effect on the typical measures of treatment success including pain, physical functioning, or contact with primary care physicians.
However, those taking self-management of arthritis program had reduced anxiety and improvement in their perceived ability to manage symptoms.
The researchers don’t discuss the cost of the program, but it sounds like an effective complementary approach to a life-long disease.
Dr. Keith Marton, in a commentary for Journal Watch (email subscribers only) thinks not. He says, “This study is likely to temper enthusiasm for self-management programs for arthritis. Editorialists go so far as to question the value of such programs in reducing healthcare costs or in improving overall health.”
Why is improving quality of life in people with arthritis not worth the effort?
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.