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Papers of the Week

2013 Sep

Proc Hum Factors Ergon Soc Annu Meet



How Do Older Adults Manage Osteoarthritis Pain? The Need for a Person-Centered Disease Model.


Barg-Walkow LH, McBride SE, Morgan MJ, Mitzner TL, Knott CC, Rogers WA
Proc Hum Factors Ergon Soc Annu Meet. 2013 Sep; 57(1):743-747.
PMID: 31239608.


In the United States, chronic pain affects at least 116 million Americans, differentially impacting older adults. One of the leading causes of pain for older adults is osteoarthritis. This disease affects approximately 14% of the United States population and can cause disability and mobility problems, in addition to having a high cost for the healthcare system. The methods individuals use to manage their pain are contingent upon their model of the disease (e.g., their beliefs about osteoarthritis pain management). The purpose of the present investigation was to: 1) understand what variables older adults with osteoarthritis believe impact pain, and 2) understand current approaches for self-management of osteoarthritis pain. We conducted structured interviews with eight older adults who have osteoarthritis. The interviews revealed current approaches in pain management, as well as gaps in knowledge. We propose an expansion of the idea of a general disease model for pain management that is patient-centered, allowing for personal customization of factors for reducing pain and increasing successful pain-management.