Arthritis-specific health beliefs related to aging among older male patients with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis

Cathleen J. Appelt, Christopher J. Burant, Laura A. Siminoff, C. Kent Kwoh, Said A. Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background. Disease-specific beliefs may impact patients' perceptions of the efficacy of various treatment options, thus, it is important to understand these beliefs. We examined the relationship between patients' demographic characteristics and arthritis-specific beliefs related to aging. Methods. We performed a cross-sectional survey of 591 elderly primary care patients, who had symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and/or hip, at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Data were collected on age, race, educational level, income, and whether patients agreed or disagreed with four statements regarding aging and arthritis. We also assessed OA symptom severity using the Western Ontario McMaster Universities Index (WOMAC) and depressive symptoms using the Geriatric Depression Scale. We used logistic regression analyses to examine relationships between patients' age, race, and educational level and arthritis-specific health beliefs, while adjusting for OA symptom severity, radiographic confirmation of OA, OA joint burden, depressive symptoms, and income. Results. Patients 70 years old or older, as compared to patients 50-59 years old, were more likely to believe that: arthritis is a natural part of growing old; people should expect that when they get older, they won't be able to walk as well, and people should expect to live with pain as they grow older. Conclusion. Among older, male veterans, health beliefs regarding the relationship between aging and arthritis vary by age. Clinicians should consider these differences when discussing treatment strategies with their patients with knee and/or hip OA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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