Theoretical background Striving for goals is important for wellbeing, as they give structure and meaning to life and moreover keep people engaged in important activities. But for patients with arthritis pursuing important life goals often becomes difficult or even impossible. As a consequence of disease symptoms as pain, fatigue and disability, patients often face difficulties with attaining or maintaining goals in several domains of life, including work, social relationships, leisure activities and domestic tasks. Elevated levels of psychological distress are common in persons with arthritis, indicating that adjustment to the disease does not always come naturally. An intervention based on goal management might help patients adapt to their changed circumstances due to the chronic disease. Previous studies indicate that the higher tendency to use goal management strategies is positively associated with adaptation to arthritis. Four strategies were recognized in the literature on goal management: maintenance of goals, adjustment of goals, disengagement of goals and searching for new goals. Especially for people with inflammatory arthritis with its often unpredictable and fluctuating disease course, it can be beneficial to be able to use different approaches across situations. Therefore an intervention based on the flexible use of goal management strategies could be promising as it can teach persons to respond to the demands of any situation in an appropriate way.
Intervention The newly designed intervention is a protocol based psycho-educational training. The program is led by a trained nurse. Participants are introduced to different goal management strategies and learn to use these strategies flexible for threatened personal goals. The goal management strategies that are covered in the training are: goal maintenance, goal adjustment, goal disengagement, and engaging in new goals.
Workshop In the workshop a short introduction to the theory will be given, followed by a practical exercise to work with an important part of the content of the goal management intervention.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared