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Title: Illness perceptions of people with hand problems : a population survey and focus group enquiry
Author: Hill, Susan.
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2005
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is common in older people. The impact of lower limb OA is well characterised, but little is known about hand OA. Illness perceptions are known to influence health outcomes. The aim of this thesis was to investigate illness perceptions in older people with hand problems and their associations with outcome, and to investigate the impact of hand problems on the individual. Following a pilot reliability study a cross-sectional postal general health survey was undertaken in three general practices involving people age ~50. In those who responded with hand problems/pain a hand questionnaire was mailed, including measures of illness perceptions (IPO-R), hand function, pain and medication use (AIMS2), psychological morbidity (HADS) and consultation. Data were analysed using logistic regression. A second study conducted semi-structured interviews (n=29) and focus groups (n=4) in primary and secondary care patients with a clinical diagnosis of hand OA. Data were analysed using content and thematic analysis. There was a 78.5 percent adjusted response rate with 2,113 people classified with hand problems/pain (62.8 percent female, mean age 65.4 (SO 9.6)). Pain/ache was the most commonly reported symptom (77.9 percent) and age perceived to be the most common cause (71.4 percent). The most consistent and strongest relationships with outcomes were consequences and identity (IPO-R), and frustration.The qualitative findings described impact in terms of disruption of everyday tasks and frustration. Hand OA patients described beliefs concerning treatment efficacy in reducing symptoms that were weighed against actual or perceived side-effects. Patients described a lack of understanding amongst health professionals regarding hand OA and its impact on life, and that treatment needs were not fulfilled. Illness perceptions can be measured using the IPQ-R in a general population of older people with hand problems. Patients with hand OA described the frustration and disruption that OA brings, and the lack of treatment available. Targeting illness perceptions as part of an intervention package may improve outcome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available