Clinical Trial: Patient Education in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

This study has been completed.

Sponsored by: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Information provided by: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)


This project will evaluate the effectiveness and general usefulness of two arthritis patient education programs. The first, the Arthritis Self-Management Program, is a 6-week, community-based program taught in small groups by peer leaders. The second, the Self-Managed Arthritis Relief Therapy (SMART) Program, is a computer-driven program delivered through the mail. Participants in this project are people with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis who are taking part in the larger long-term studies being conducted by ARAMIS (the Arthritis, Rheumatism and Aging Medical Information System).

Condition Treatment or Intervention Phase
Rheumatoid Arthritis
 Behavior: Arthritis Self-Management Program
 Behavior: Self-Managed Arthritis Relief Therapy (SMART) Program
Phase III

MedlinePlus related topics:  Osteoarthritis;   Rheumatoid Arthritis

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Treatment, Randomized, Open Label, Active Control, Parallel Assignment, Efficacy Study

Official Title: Patient Education Strategies for Better Outcomes in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA)

Further Study Details: 

Expected Total Enrollment:  1200

Study start: July 1996;  Study completion: April 2001

In a changing health care environment, the role of patients in managing their arthritis is increasingly important. Patient education is the primary means for teaching patients how to fulfill this role successfully. The goal of self-management health education is not merely to provide information but also to change patient attitudes and behavior so that patient outcomes are improved. These programs represent a new treatment for arthritis.

This project will evaluate the relative effect on health status and cost-effectiveness of two arthritis patient education programs that use different delivery systems. The Arthritis Self-Management Program (ASMP) uses a small group, multi-class format. It is taught by trained lay leaders and has been evaluated for effectiveness and widely disseminated. The Self-Managed Arthritis Relief Therapy (SMART) Program is a computer-driven, individualized, mail-delivered intervention. Results of a pilot study suggest that it is effective in improving health status and reducing health care use.

The project will also evaluate how generalizable the SMART program is and its effectiveness for patients with different diagnoses (OA and RA). It will also determine the attributes of patients who choose and do not choose to participate in patient education programs as well as the attributes of those who complete and do not complete the ASMP and SMART programs.

Through use of the ARAMIS data collection system, the project allows us to describe the differences between people who volunteer to receive patient education and those who refuse patient education. This project is directed at improving patient outcomes in both RA and OA through wide availability of a low-cost, mail-delivered arthritis self-management program that is the next generation in arthritis health education.


Ages Eligible for Study:  18 Years and above,  Genders Eligible for Study:  Both


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Physician diagnosis of OA or RA
  • Participation in the ARAMIS longitudinal study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age under 18

Location Information

      Stanford University, Palo Alto,  California,  94305,  United States

      Wichita Arthritis Center, Wichita,  Kansas,  United States

      University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania,  United States

      Vanderbilt University, Nashville,  Tennessee,  United States

Canada, Alberta
      University of Saskatoon, Edmonton,  Alberta,  Canada

Study chairs or principal investigators

Kate R. Lorig, DrPH,  Principal Investigator,  Stanford University   

More Information


Lorig KR, Ritter PL, Laurent DD, Fries JF. Long-term randomized controlled trials of tailored-print and small-group arthritis self-management interventions. Med Care. 2004 Apr;42(4):346-54.

Study ID Numbers:  NIAMS-034; P01 AR43584; Sub: 004
Record last reviewed:  November 2004
Last Updated:  November 12, 2004
Record first received:  November 3, 1999 Identifier:  NCT00000414
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government processed this record on 2005-04-08

Cache Date: April 9, 2005