Goal management strategies and successful adaptation to arthritis

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Objective: Persons with polyarthritis often experience difficulties in attaining personal goals due to disease symptoms such as pain, fatigue and reduced mobility. This study examines the relationship of goal management strategies – goal maintenance, goal adjustment, goal disengagement, goal reengagement – with indicators of adaptation to polyarthritis, namely, depression, anxiety, purpose in life, positive affect, participation, and work participation. Methods: 305 patients diagnosed with polyarthritis participated in a questionnaire study (62% female, 29% employed, mean age: 62 years). Hierarchical multiple-regression-analyses were conducted to examine the relative importance of the goal management strategies for adaptation. Self-efficacy in relation to goal management was also studied. Results: For all adaptation indicators, the goal management strategies added substantial explained variance to the models (R2: .07–.27). Goal maintenance and goal adjustment were significant predictors of adaptation to polyarthritis. Self-efficacy partly mediated the influence of goal management strategies. Conclusion: Goal management strategies were found to be important predictors of successful adaptation to polyarthritis. Overall, adjusting goals to personal ability and circumstances and striving for goals proved to be the most beneficial strategies. Practice implications: Designing interventions that focus on the effective management of goals may help people to adapt to polyarthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalPatient education and counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-298114
  • Threatened goals
  • Chronic disease
  • Adaptation
  • Adjustment
  • Arthritis
  • Goal management strategies
  • Depression
  • IR-87479
  • Quality of life


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