Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Arthritis: Behavioral Treatment
Arthritis refers to a group of more than 100 disorders in which the joints become damaged, often as a result of inflammation. There is no known cure for arthritis and as such, it is a common condition that is usually chronic in nature and causes significant pain and disability. Although disability in arthritis is associated with damage to the joints that can be identified through examinations (such as X-rays), damage does not entirely predict the level of function that individuals achieve. Indeed, it has long been recognized that psychological factors, such as attitudes toward illness, coping styles, depression, and anxiety are also important predictors of function over time. One model that has been adapted to explain the process of adjustment to arthritis is the self-regulation model. According to this model, people have beliefs about arthritis prior to being diagnosed. These beliefs influence the way in which people cope with the ...