A research team led by Vaughn Sinclair from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing & Vanderbilt Medical Center evaluated the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral nursing intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Ninety adult women with RA participated in 1 of 14 nurse-led groups over an 18-month period. Personal coping resources, pain-coping behaviors, psychological well-being, and disease symptomatology were measured at four time periods. There were significant changes on all of the measures of personal coping resources (p < .001) and psychological well-being (p < .05), half of the pain-coping behaviors (p < .05), and one indicator of disease symptomatology (fatigue, p < .05) from pre- to post intervention. And the positive changes brought about by the program were maintained over the 3-month follow-up period. The study suggests that this kind of intervention could be adapted to benefit individuals with a variety of stressful medical conditions.

Citation: Sinclair VG, Wallston KA, Dwyer KA, Blackburn DS, Fuchs H. Effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Research in Nursing & Health 1998 Aug; 21 (4): 315-26.