Spanish Arthritis Empowerment Program: A Dissemination and Effectiveness Study

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To evaluate the effectiveness of the Spanish Arthritis Empowerment Program as presented by the Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter, in Orange County, California.


Participants with arthritis (n = 141) enrolled in the program between October 1999 and May 2001. All materials were in Spanish. Written pretest, 6-week posttest, and 6-month followup tests measured pain rating, self-report joint counts, function (modified Health Assessment Questionnaire [mHAQ]), self efficacy, self-care behavior, and arthritis knowledge.


Mean age was 51 years, 92% were female, 84% were born in Mexico, 55% had sixth grade education or less, and 60% had no medical insurance. Of the 141 participants, 118 completed 6-month followup testing. Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant improvement from pretest to 6-month followup in pain (6.0 versus 3.4); self efficacy (5.5 versus 8.4), self-care behavior (1.7 versus 4.9), arthritis knowledge (1.6 versus 4.5), and general health (2.1 versus 2.5), all at P < 0.001. Small improvement was reported in mHAQ (0.56 versus 0.50; P = 0.024).


The Spanish Arthritis Empowerment Program was successfully disseminated. Significant improvements in self efficacy and in arthritis symptoms were maintained at the 6-month followup.

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