Scores on the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale (ASES) may be associated with key areas of functioning in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), according to a study published in Rheumatology.
In this meta-analysis of 48 samples meeting 10 inclusion criteria of patients with OA or RA (n=9222; samples: OA, n=25; RA, n=21; mixed, n=2), the overall mean pain duration was 11.59 years (range, 2.52 to 23.70). Only studies in which self-reported ASES was used were included in the study. The ASES is commonly used to examine beliefs associated with a patient’s ability to function despite pain.
ASES scores were found to correlate with functional impairment (r= −0.436; 95% CI, −0.385 to −0.484; P <.001), pain severity (r= −0.432; 95% CI, −0.379 to −0.483; P <.001), and emotional distress (r = −0.428; 95% CI, −0.378 to −0.475; P <.001). Larger ASES impairment effect sizes were found in studies that enrolled patients with RA vs studies with patients with OA only (effect size, −0.451 vs −0.347; P <.001), as well as in studies that used the 20- vs the 8-item ASES (effect size, −0.428 vs −0.265; P <.001). There were no moderating effects of sample age, gender composition, pain duration, and study quality on ASES functional impairment associations (P >.015 for all). The ASES version and subscale content were found to moderate associations between ASES scores and pain severity and emotional distress, respectively.
Study limitations include the sole inclusion of patients with OA and RA, which may limit the generalizability of the findings across patients with other arthritic or rheumatic conditions.
“[C]ompared with ASES responses of OA cohorts, those of patients [with RA] may be better indicators of individual differences in perceived control and perseverance in daily physical activities,” concluded the study authors.
Jackson T, Xu T, Jia X. Arthritis self-efficacy beliefs and functioning among osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients: a meta-analytic review [published online June 18, 2019]. Rheumatology (Oxford). doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kez219