The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Web-based cognitive behavioral intervention for older adults with arthritis fatigue; a feasibility and acceptability study

Date Funded: 
Jun 1, 2021
Funding Organization: 
Sigma Small Grant

Dr Jeungok Choi, Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, and Co-Investigators Dr Joohyun Chung and Dr Raeann LeBlanc, have been awarded a Sigma Small Grant for their project "Web-based cognitive behavioral intervention for older adults with arthritis fatigue: a feasibilty and acceptability study". The purpose of this project is to develop a web-based cognitive behavioral intervention (Web-CBI) and test feasibility and acceptability of Web-CBI for older adults with arthritis fatigue. The goal of Web-CBI is to promote a simple walking activity, thus ultimately alleviating arthritis fatigue.

Simple walking increases physical activity and further decreases fatigue by improving an individual’s aerobic and functional capacity, thereby reducing the effort to perform daily tasks. A simple walking activity intervention is easy to learn with minimal professional guidance and equipment. This project will adopt a web-based platform with a videoconferencing tool to deliver the intervention to older adults. Web-based learning is well suited to meet the needs of patients with fatigue who often have difficulties traveling to places outside the home for education. The team will also create peer-support sessions using a videoconferencing tool which will enhance older adults’ achievement of long-term behavioral changes. Within a peer support session which will be run based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, participants encourage one another to meet their goals through multiple interactions with others who have similar health problems and have frequent and various opportunities for mutual reinforcement. These peer support sessions will make a unique contribution to significantly improving older adults’ health outcomes especially in this difficult time of isolation due to social distancing for COVID-19.