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Original Article

Self-Reported Arthritis Burden and Management in South Carolina

Hazel L. Breland, PhD, OTR/L
Volume: 106 Issue: 5 May, 2013

Abstract:

Objective: Arthritis has garnered national attention as the leading cause of disability, yet it is important to survey the burden and management of this disabling condition at the state and local levels. This study explored the self-reported burden and management of arthritis in South Carolina using state-based data relative to other prominent chronic diseases.


Methods: Data from 9580 adults in South Carolina who participated in the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to quantify the self-reported burden and management of arthritis within the past year.


Results: Estimates indicate that 31% (3043) of adults in South Carolina were diagnosed as having arthritis in 2009. The burden of arthritis was evident with 49% (1954) of the individuals with arthritis experiencing activity limitations, 39% (1500) reported arthritis affected their employment, 92% (3705) reported living with pain, and 44% (1787) reported restricted social activities. Self-reported arthritis management included advice to lose weight (37%), encouragement to exercise (57%), and limited education on proper management (11%). The majority (75%) of individuals reported that arthritis interferes with their ability to accomplish what they want.


Conclusions: Arthritis is more prevalent and burdensome for individuals in South Carolina when compared with national estimates. These findings suggest that there are potential educational opportunities to increase awareness of the disease and its burden, as well as improve education and disease management.

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References:

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CME:

Portions of this issue may be available for CME credit. Please email education@sma.org for a complete listing of current Southern Medical Journal activities, as well as other SMA educational offerings.

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