Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

O'Hanlon, Ann; Speaker, Richard

Second Advisor

Warren, Barbara

Third Advisor

Brookover, Cecile

Fourth Advisor

Thames, Marvin


The current study was conducted to examine the effects of telephone intervention on arthritis self-efficacy, depression, pain and fatigue in older adult patients in different clinical settings. Eighty-five subjects from two clinics were randomly assigned to either the control (n = 45) or intervention (n = 40) groups. The study was a mixed quantitative/qualitative design. Each subject completed several pre-tests including the Arthritis Self-Efficacy (ASE) scale, the Geriatric Depression scale (GDS), and numeric rating scales for both pain and fatigue. All subjects received an informational packet on self-management of arthritis and developed an action plan and personal goals for self-management of their arthritis over the next six weeks. Subjects in the intervention groups also received a brief educational session on the packet and were called once weekly for the next five weeks. The calls followed a script, addressing different sections of the informational packet. The calls were designed to be both instructional and motivational. Subjects in the control groups were not contacted until the sixth week. At that time all subjects were called and the assessment tools were re-administered. Quantitative data analysis (repeated measures ANOVA) showed a significant increase in ASE scores over time for both intervention and control groups. Qualitative data analysis revealed the emergence of several major themes that were supported by the subjects' responses. The telephone interventions helped many of the participants initiate exercise programs for the first time in their lives. Participants also indicated that they were determined to adhere to these programs, that they would make other lifestyle changes that would assist their arthritis self-management, and that the telephone interventions were helpful in facilitating medical care for arthritis exacerbations and other medical problems. Telephone intervention was helpful in promoting adherence to exercise programs and other lifestyle changes that may assist older patients in the self-management of their arthritis, and was helpful in facilitating medical care. Arthritis education classes have been developed which have been shown to enhance the self-management of arthritis in older patients. Telephone intervention may be an alternative means of enhancing self-management for these individuals.


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