Self-management support needs of patients with inflammatory arthritis and the content of self-management interventions: a scoping review

Astrid Jensen Damgaard*, Jette Primdahl, Bente Appel Esbensen, Kristine Marie Latocha, Ann Bremander

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Self-management skills can empower a person to manage the physical, psychological, and social impact of a health condition. However, the components of self-management interventions differ widely between studies and interventions. By performing a scoping review, we aimed to describe patients’ self-management needs and how health professionals (HPs) can provide effective self-management support to patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA). Objectives: 1) to identify the evidence for self-management support needs of patients with IA, and 2) to identify the content (theory/theoretical approach, mode of delivery, duration and frequency) of self-management interventions that target patients with IA. Methods: In May 2021, we performed a systematic literature search (from 2000 onward) in five databases (CINAHL (Ebsco), Cochrane Library, Embase (Ovid), Medline (Ovid) and PsycINFO (Ovid)) regarding self-management in patients with IA. Results: Out of 11,748 records identified, we included 31 articles describing patients’ support needs and 33 articles describing the content of self-management interventions. Patients’ support needs were sorted into six topics: 1) disease impact and the pharmacological treatment, 2) care continuity and relations with HPs, 3) the importance of non-pharmacological treatment, 4) the need for support from family and friends, 5) support needs related to work issues, and 6) contextual preferences for self-management support. The theory/theoretical approach, mode of delivery, duration and frequency varied widely and were often unclearly or insufficiently described. In addition, the self-management concept was scarcely – or not – defined in the included articles. The identified topics for support needs were compared with the described content in the included articles. Only a few self-management interventions focused on patients’ need for support in relation to work, and to family and friends. Conclusion: HPs provided self-management support to patients with IA in various ways, but there were gaps between the patients’ support needs and the identified interventions. In developing self-management interventions, the self-management concept needs to be defined and a clear theory is required to support the development of the intervention. Future studies should seek to investigate various modes of delivery, frequency and duration, to develop effective interventions that meet patients’ support needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152203
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Empowerment
  • Patient education
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Self-efficacy
  • Spondyloarthritis


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