Arthritis Self-Management Does Not Reduce Pain Levels Or GP Visits

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Randomised controlled trial of arthritis self-management in primary care

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Self-management programmes for people with osteoarthritis do not reduce pain, or the number of visits patients make to their GP, a new study reveals today.

Osteoarthritis affects around five million people in the UK (8% of the population). Patient-centred arthritis self-management programmes tested on volunteers in the USA indicated a beneficial effect on pain, depression, exercise taken, communication with doctors and participants' self-perception about their capacity to manage their condition.

Researchers from London undertook one of the largest trials to measure the effects of arthritis self-management programmes on patients. The findings showed that whilst these programmes helped to reduce levels of anxiety for arthritis patients, they did little to reduce physical pain. The authors say their findings suggest that more research needs to be done to support the roll-out of the government's Expert Patient Programme

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