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Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 119–128

First Online: 26 August 2008Received: 21 April 2008Revised: 03 July 2008Accepted: 23 July 2008


We describe the usage of various assistive devices and identify factors associated with usage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis RA. A cross-sectional, multicentre study was performed in three outpatient rheumatology clinics in the Netherlands. Two hundred forty patients with RA participated in the study. The main measures were questionnaires and a semi-structured interview regarding the possession and usage of 21 common assistive devices in the ISO9999 categories orthopaedic footwear, personal care, mobility, household and adaptations for housing. Potential factors associated with usage included sociodemographic variables, health status, quality of life, coping strategies, self-efficacy, outcome expectations and satisfaction. Out of 240 patients, 213 89% had one or more assistive devices in possession median number of devices 3.0, interquartile range 3.0. The proportions of patients never using a device in possession varied between 8% for orthopaedic insoles and 23% for grab bars. The main factors related to usage varied among categories, but common determinants were a specific impairment or disability, satisfaction with the device or related services, self-efficacy and the number of devices in possession. In conclusion, in patients with RA, possession rates are high, with 23% or less of the devices in possession being abandoned. Overall, satisfaction rates were high. Factors associated with usage varied among categories and comprised, apart from the number of devices in possession and variables related to health status, also aspects of satisfaction with the device or related services or self-efficacy. The latter findings underline the need for a systematic evaluation of the outcomes of assistive devices by prescribing health professionals or suppliers in every individual case.

KeywordsAssistive devices Compliance Cross-sectional study Disability Rheumatoid arthritis  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: I. G. de Boer - A. J. Peeters - H. K. Ronday - B. J. A. Mertens - T. W. J. Huizinga - T. P. M. Vliet Vlieland


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