Individuals vary significantly in how they adjust to their arthritis and this is not always explained by the level of disease activity but by their ability to cope. Coping was originally conceptualised as a defence mechanism with its origins in psychoanalytic theory. Coping has been classified in terms of the focus of the strategies, for example: emotions-focused and problem-focused coping, or in terms of the expected outcome, for example active or passive coping. The term coping is often used interchangeably in the literature with “self-management”, but patients have been shown to be able to distinguish between the terms (Nicklin et al, 2010). Little is known about the journeys patients take from pre diagnosis towards adjustment and possible acceptance in the first 12 months, yet treatment often includes standardised care protocols and self management programmes.
This talk will focus on the findings from a PhD study that looks at how patients cope and manage within the first year, from pre-diagnosis through the first 12 months. It will describe different potential journey that patients may take on their road to adjustment and acceptance. Coping and self management are both key strategies within managing long term conditions, these results will show how patients take different trajectories needing differing support and self management techniques, and that one programme does not fit all.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared