The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Pilot Project to investigate a tablet-based walking intervention for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue

Date Funded: 
May 1, 2018
Funding Organization: 
UManage Center for Building the Science of Symptom Self-Management, through the National Institute of Nursing Research

The purpose of Dr. Jeungok Choi's study is to develop a tablet-based cognitive behavioral intervention application that improves self-management of fatigue among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Fatigue is highly prevalent among individuals with RA, and has a significant impact on their physical functioning and quality of life.

Studies have shown that interventions based around physical activity or exercise interventions have a moderate to significant effect on fatigue. These exercise interventions, however, are resource-intensive, requiring specially trained personnel, highly structured activities, and attendance at classes or a specified facility. Each of these components increases cost and barriers to implementation, which often leads to high dropout rates. Self-management is a promising strategy to improve patients’ long-term engagement and adherence. This study will develop a tablet-based cognitive behavioral intervention application based around a simple walking-based physical activity with a pedometer. Such activities are easy to learn, require minimal professional guidance and equipment, and yield significant reductions in fatigue.

The project will identify any initial design issues, examine if the intervention can be seamlessly integrated into the daily lives of patients, and test the effect of the intervention on daily steps, fatigue level, self-efficacy, and quality of life with the overall aim of improving participants’ RA fatigue.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20NR016599. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health.