Exercising with Rheumatoid Arthritis: The influence of exercise attitudes and beliefs on physical activity participation

Abstract

Background: Persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are at increased risk of physical inactivity and its negative health effects. Exercise attitudes and beliefs influence exercise and physical activity in healthy adults. Little is known about the influence of exercise attitudes and beliefs on long-term physical activity participation in adults with RA. This study examined attitudes, beliefs, and social support towards exercise and their influence on physical activity adults with RA. ææMethods: A secondary analysis of a large prospective cohort of 229 adults with RA (mean age 58 [SD=11.7]) were selected. æAll subjects completed the exercise attitudes and beliefs questionnaire (EAQ) and had one year of follow-up. ææData collected included demographics, medical history, psychosocial and physical function, including the NurseÍs Health Study Physical Activity Questionnaire (NHS_PAQ). The primary outcome variable was metabolic equivalents (METS) derived using a standardized algorithm for the NHS_PAQ. The primary predictor was exercise attitudes and beliefs derived as a total score from the EAQ. æA multivariate linear regression model was used to ascertain predictors of physical activity participation at one year. ææResults: In progress. ææLimitations/Strengths: There is potential for selection bias due to the fairly homogenous demographic profile of the participants. However, we combine biomarkers of disease activity with psychosocial variables to address our hypothesis. ææConclusions: Results of this study can be used to develop more targeted educational programming for physicians and patients with RA who are less likely to engage in physical activity as a result of their attitudes and beliefs towards exercise.