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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Problems/needs inventory of seniors with arthritis : implications for training of care-facility staff Steven, John Mowat


A problems/needs inventory enquired into special social-psychological-emotional problems experienced by seniors in care facilities, due to arthritis. The inventory was based on three questions: are there any such problems? If so, what are they? And, what could be done by facility staff to help relieve such problems? This was the first stage in a proposed larger project: to develop a Social Work component dealing with such special problems, in order to augment an existing staff training program, and to test, evaluate, revise and implement the complete program package. A community-based approach was used. The Department of Social Work Services at the Arthritis Society produced a listing of key areas of concern at a brainstorming session; health-care and social-service professionals were surveyed by interview or by the Delphi Technique; a seniors' arthritis support group participated in a Nominal Group Technique session; care-facility staff met to discuss relevant issues; and, data was gleaned from current literature by a content analysis method. There was general agreement that seniors in care with arthritis do have special social-psychological-emotional problems because of the disease, and also there was consistency regarding the nature of these problems. Analysis of the data led to findings that included the following propositions: A sense of self-reliance and of social integration are essential to well-being. Limitations on movement, and the effects of chronic pain and of pain medication are associated with significant social-psychological emotional problems among seniors in care with arthritis. Two principles of care were identified: 1) support and encourage independence; and, 2) support and encourage social integration. The propositions will be applied to the development of the content of the Social Work component of the training program. Also, many respondents made important recommendations regarding methods and format for the training program. These are included in this paper.

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