Arthritis impacts the daily activities of over 22.7 million Americans. People with Arthritis are less likely to be physically active which increases the likelihood of developing other chronic diseases and conditions - specifically obesity. In an effort to better understand how to increase knowledge among professionals working with people with arthritis and with decision makers who can impact policies that support healthy lifestyle programming for people with arthritis, the NACDD Arthritis Initiative embarked on two different studies over the past few months with various partners.
The first study was led by Westat with support from NACDD, CDC, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and the Chronic Pain Association and was intended to understand physical therapists' current knowledge, attitudes, and recommendation practices related to community-based physical activity and self management education programs. Almost 1000 physical therapists and members of the APTA participated in a web survey during August and September 2013. Survey results will be used to develop meaningful resources to increase the likelihood of physical therapists recommending increasing physical activity and or Self-Management Education for their patients with Arthritis.
The second study used a focus group format and was conducted by Experion Healthcare Group, LLC in partnership with NACDD, CDC, and the National Council of State Legislators. Focus groups were held during the NCSL annual summer meeting in Atlanta, GA in August. Policy priorities for people with Arthritis were used to create the moderator guide for the focus group session. These questions also included the priorities of physical activity and self-management programming perspective to assist people with Arthritis to improve their quality of life. The focus group results will be used to develop materials and other resources to share with states and partners that improve the quality of life for people with arthritis.