Flurey, Caroline A., Sarah Hewlett, Karen Rodham, Alan White, Robert Noddings, & John R. Kirwan (2018). Coping strategies, psychological impact, and support preferences of men with rheumatoid arthritis: A multicenter survey. Arthritis Care & Research, 70(6), 851-860. (doi: 10.1002/acr.23422)

Abstract: Objectives: To investigate the existence and distribution of two typologies (termed ‘Factors’) of men with RA identified through our previous Q-methodology study (n=30) in a larger sample of men with RA, and whether differences in psychosocial impact or support preferences exist between the two factors, and between men and women with RA. Methods: A postal survey was sent to 620 men with RA from 6 rheumatology units across England, and the support preferences section of the survey was given to 232 women with RA. Results: 295 male patients (47.6%) and 103 female patients (44.4%) responded. Fifteen male participants had missing data, thus 280 were included in the analysis. Of these, 61 (22%) were assigned to Factor A ("accept and adapt"), 120 (35%) were assigned to Factor B ("struggling to match up") and 99 (35%) were unassigned to either factor. The two factors differed significantly with Factor B reporting more severe disease, less effective coping strategies and poorer psychological status. For support, men favoured a question and answer session with a consultant (54%) or specialist nurse (50%), a website for information (69%), a talk from researchers (54%), or a symptom management session (54%). Overall, women reported more interest in support sessions than men, with ≥50% of women reporting interest in nearly every option provided. Conclusions: Some men accept and adapt to their RA, but others (43%) report severe disease, less effective coping and poor psychological status. Men’s preferences for support take the practical form, with a focus on expanding their knowledge.

Caroline A Flurey <caroline2.flurey@uwe.ac.uk> is in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences – Health and Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Bristol, UK.

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