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Health Services Research & Development

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2005 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract


1005 — Arthritis-Specific Health Beliefs Among Older Male Patients with Knee/Hip Osteoarthritis

Author List:
Appelt CJ (Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh Veterans Administration Healthcare System)
Ibrahim SA (Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh Veterans Administration Healthcare System; Medicine, University of Pittsburgh)
Burant CJ (Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University)
Siminoff LA (Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University)
Kwoh CK (Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh Veterans Administration Healthcare System; Medicine, University of Pittsburgh)

Objectives:
Patients’ beliefs about chronic diseases such as Osteoarthritis (OA) and their treatments vary. Since disease-specific beliefs may impact patients’ perceptions of the efficacy of various treatment options, it is important to consider these beliefs. In addition, due to the aging of the veteran and US populations the prevalence of OA is rising dramatically. We examined arthritis-specific health beliefs in a cohort of older male patients with knee or hip OA.

Methods:
We performed a cross-sectional survey of 596 elderly, VAMC, primary care patients with symptomatic knee/hip OA. We used logistic regression analyses to examine relationships between patients’ demographic characteristics and arthritis-specific health beliefs, adjusting for disease severity and depression.

Results:
The mean age of the cohort was 66 10 years and 39% were over age 70; 56% were white and 44% were African-American; 34% had < high school (HS) education and 48% had graduated from HS; and 56% had a household income of < $15,000. OA patients over 70 years of age, as compared to those ages 50 to 69, were more likely to believe that “arthritis is a natural part of growing old (p < 0.01); they should expect to live with pain as they grow old (p < 0.01); they should expect that they won t be able to walk as well as they get older (p = 0.001). White OA patients were more likely than AA patients to believe that they would experience more pain and stiffness due to a humid climate (p< 0.001). OA patients who had who had attained higher levels of education were more likely to believe that they would “experience more pain and stiffness due to weight gain (p < 0.01). No significant differences were found in health beliefs by income level.

Implications:
Health beliefs about the relationship between aging and arthritis vary by age. Other arthritis-specific health beliefs vary by race and education level, but not by income level.

Impacts:
Clinicians should consider these differences when discussing treatment strategies with their patients with knee or hip OA.


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