Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 143–158 | Cite as

Personal models of osteoarthritis and their relation to self-management activities and quality of life

  • Sarah E. Hampson
  • Russell E. Glasgow
  • Antonette M. Zeiss


We examined the personal models of osteoarthritis (OA) of 61 patients over 60 years of age. Models were elicited using a structured interview. Shared beliefs included perceiving OA as a serious, painful, chronic, and incurable condition that can be managed by recommended medical treatment. Considerable individual differences were found on six personal-model constructs: Symptoms, Seriousness, Cause, Control, Helpfulness of Treatment, and Negative Feelings about Treatment. The constructs of Symptoms and Seriousness were consistently related to a variety of important outcomes. For example, participants with higher scores on Symptoms and Seriousness reported higher levels of self-management (both concurrently and prospectively), reported more utilization of medical services, and experienced a poorer quality of life. The implications for the design of health-education materials and for patient-provider interactions are discussed.

Key Words

personal models older patients osteoarthritis self-management quality of life health beliefs 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah E. Hampson
    • 1
  • Russell E. Glasgow
    • 1
  • Antonette M. Zeiss
    • 2
  1. 1.Oregon Research InstituteEugene
  2. 2.Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical CenterPalo Alto

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