Background Due to advancements in medications and treatment, many patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have high expectations of maintaining health, even though they still report participation restrictions in daily life. More women than men RA are affected and women have higher disease activity and more disability than men. Thereby there is a need for further exploration of women's perspective in order to provide tailored multi professional interventions.
Objectives The aim of this study was to explore RA women's strategies for dealing with the dilemmas in everyday life.
Methods The data collection was conducted with semi-structured interviews based on the Critical Incident Technique (CIT) . The sample consists of women with early RA (n=35). The strategies for dealing with RA dilemmas of everyday life were analyzed and categorized using content analysis  and linked to the International classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) domains . This study is part of a longitudinal RA project approved by the Research Ethics Committee at Linkoping University (M168–05 T84–09).
Results The women with early RA described four types of health strategies; interaction, adjustment, avoidance and acceptance. The interaction strategy was most frequently used, however often in combination with adjustment or avoidance strategies. The interaction strategy included to verbally express needs and wants and to interact with others. More easily said, to talk about the problem. In the adjustment strategy new behaviors and habits were developed to deal with the experienced participation restriction or the everyday life dilemma. The avoidance strategy included to deliberate avoid possible participation restrictions, and the acceptance strategy was identified by utterances that included descriptions of accepting the experienced situation or restriction. The everyday dilemmas experienced where related to several of ICF domains such as dressing, eating, drinking, driving, preparing meals, formal and informal relationships, interpersonal interactions and family relationships, employed work, and in leisure activities.
Conclusions Women with early RA used combined health strategies to deal with everyday life dilemmas and participation restrictions. Especially the interaction strategy was preferred which could be argued to be an important facilitator for communication within health promotion initiatives and in rehabilitation. This highlights the importance of that health professionals, colleagues, family members and other persons in the social environment listen to women's articulations in order to support and decrease women's participation restrictions in early RA.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared