Effectiveness of individual resource-oriented joint protection education in people with rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized controlled trial

Karin Niedermann*, Rob A. de Bie, Regula Kubli, Adrian Ciurea, Claudia Steurer-Stey, Peter M. Villiger, Stefan Buechi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: The modern joint protection (JP) concept for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an active coping strategy to improve daily tasks and role performance by changing working methods and using assistive devices. Effective group JP education includes psycho-educational interventions. The Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure (PRISM) is an interactive hands-on-tool, assessing (a) the individual's perceived burden of illness and (b) relevant individual resources. Both issues are important for intrinsic motivation to take action and change behaviour. This study compared individual conventional JP education (C-JP) with PRISM-based JP education (PRISM-JP). Methods: An assessor-blinded multicentre randomized controlled trial, including four JP education sessions over 3 weeks, with assessments at baseline and 3 months. Results: In total 53 RA patients participated. At 3 months, the PRISM-JP (n = 26) participants did significantly better compared to the C-JP participants (n = 27) in JP behaviour (p = 0.02 and p = 0.008 when corrected for baseline values), Arthritis Self-efficacy (ASES, p = 0.015) and JP self-efficacy (JP-SES, p = 0.047). Within-group analysis also showed less hand pain (p <0.001) in PRISM-JP group. Conclusion: PRISM-JP more effectively supported learning of JP methods, with meaningful occupations, resource activation and self-efficacy acting as important mediators. Practice implications: PRISM improved patient-clinician communication and is feasible for occupational therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Joint protection
  • Patient education
  • Self-efficacy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Randomized controlled trial

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