Coping Strategies, Psychological Impact, and Support Preferences of Men With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Multicenter Survey

Caroline A Flurey*, Sarah Hewlett, Karen Rodham, Alan White, Robert Noddings, John R Kirwan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the existence and distribution of 2 typologies (termed “factors”) of men with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) identified through our previous Q-methodology study (n = 30) in a larger sample of men with RA, and whether differences in psychosocial impact or support preferences exist between the 2 factors, and between men and women with RA. Methods: A postal survey was sent to 620 men with RA from 6 rheumatology units across England, and the support preferences section of the survey was given to 232 women with RA. Results: A total of 295 male patients (47.6%) and 103 female patients (44.4%) responded; 15 male participants had missing data, and thus 280 were included in the analysis. Of these, 61 (22%) were assigned to factor A (“accept and adapt”), 120 (35%) were assigned to factor B (“struggling to match up”), and 99 (35%) were unassigned. The two factors differed significantly, with factor B reporting more severe disease, less effective coping strategies, and poorer psychological status. For support, men favored a question and answer session with a consultant (54%) or specialist nurse (50%), a website for information (69%), a talk by researchers (54%), or a symptom management session (54%). Overall, women reported more interest in support sessions than men, with ≥50% of women reporting interest in nearly every option provided. Conclusion: Some men accept and adapt to their RA, but others (43%) report severe disease, less effective coping, and poor psychological status. Men's preferences for support are practical, with a focus on expanding their knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-860
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number6
Early online date21 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Journal Article


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