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Factors influencing physical activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: A mixed-methods study
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
Section of Rheumatology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden & Spenshult Research and Development Center, Halmstad, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). Spenshult Research and Development Center, Halmstad, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4341-660X
2019 (English)In: SAGE Open Medicine, E-ISSN 2050-3121, Vol. 7, article id 2050312119874995Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The goal of this study was to provide a greater understanding of physical activity in patients with early rheumatoidarthritis. The aim was twofold: first to explore if physical activity was associated with factors in the clinical picture of rheumatoid arthritis in this patient group, and second, to explore factors influencing physical activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: A total of 66 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis were included in the study. A sequential explanatorymixed-methods design was used, where quantitative data from a questionnaire were analysed with Mann–Whitney, post hocKruskal–Wallis and χ2 test in order to detect differences between groups, and find possible associations between physical activity and independent variables, such as disease activity, health-related quality of life and physical function. Qualitative datawere collected in a follow-up questionnaire with open-ended questions that focused on factors influencing physical activity.

Results: Associations between physical activity, disease activity and health-related quality of life were seen in patients withearly rheumatoid arthritis together with strong negative correlations between physical activity and physical function. Patientson sick leave showed the strongest associations between disease-related variables and lower levels of physical activity.The findings from the qualitative analysis showed that physical limitations, awareness as a motivational factor and external environment factors influenced physical activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

Conclusion: The results showed a complex underlying motive where physical, psychological and environmental factors influenced the physical activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. In order to provide more effective health interventions, it is important to consider the complex nature of practicing physical activity, where a person-centred approach should be considered. Factors such as physical limitations, economic aspects and time for practicing physical activity shouldbe included in the person-centred approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2019. Vol. 7, article id 2050312119874995
Keywords [en]
Mixed-methods study, physical activity, rheumatoid arthritis
National Category
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-40880DOI: 10.1177/2050312119874995ISI: 000484889300001PubMedID: 31523427OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-40880DiVA, id: diva2:1368681
Available from: 2019-11-08 Created: 2019-11-08 Last updated: 2019-11-28Bibliographically approved

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