Objective To determine the efficacy in improving pain and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of an online self-management program for adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Methods Youth ages 12-18 years with JIA were recruited from 10 rheumatology clinics across the United States and randomized to complete an online self-management program (n = 144) or an online disease education program (n = 145). Participants in the self-management group worked through multimedia-based modules comprising psychoeducation, training in cognitive-behavioral coping skills and stress management, and other self-management topics over a 12-week period. Participants in the control group viewed a series of preselected quality educational websites about JIA over the same interval. Online content for both groups was made available in English and Spanish to facilitate inclusion of Hispanic participants. Blinded assessment of main outcomes (pain intensity, pain interference, and HRQOL) and process outcomes (disease knowledge, self-efficacy, pain coping, and emotional adjustment) occurred at baseline, posttreatment, and at 6-and 12-month postrandomization follow-up visits. Results Participants on average demonstrated significant improvements over the study period in the main outcomes, with no significant group differences in the degree of improvement. Effect sizes for these improvements were small. The amount of improvement in self-efficacy, emotional avoidance coping, disease knowledge, and emotional functioning in part predicted improvement in pain and HRQOL outcomes. Conclusions Primarily self-directed online self-management training and online disease education comparably and modestly improve pain and HRQOL in youth with JIA.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Quality of life
- Randomized controlled trial
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology