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AB1154-HPR Men's Strategies of Handling Participation Restrictions Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis (The Swedish Tira Study)
  1. A. Sverker1,
  2. M. Björk2,
  3. I. Thyberg2,
  4. M. Thyberg3,
  5. E. Valtersson4,
  6. G. Östlund5
  1. 1Rehabilitation section NSC, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
  2. 2Rheumatology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Department of Rheumatology in Östergötland
  3. 3Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Medicine and Health, Linköping University, Sweden
  4. 4Rehabilitation section NSC, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden, LinköPing
  5. 5Division of Social Work, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Sweden, Eskilstuna, Sweden


Background In spite of early interventions and advancements in medication disability and restricted work capacity is closely related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Around 1/3 of diagnosed patients are men, however few studies describe men's need and experiences of living with RA [1].

Objectives To explore male strategies of handling participating restriction in everyday life.

Methods In this study 25 men with early RA from the TIRA2 cohort [2], age 20 – 63, were interviewed about participation restrictions with Critical Incident Technique [3]. Transcribed interviews were synthesized into dilemmas and linked to ICF participation [4] codes and the strategies in handling these dilemmas were analyzed and categorized using content analysis [5].

Results The men described four types of strategies of handling participating restriction in everyday life. Resilience strategies; to find enjoyments, develop self-trust, and a new body-knowledge. Daily routine strategies; use more time on each task and rest in between activities, adjust medication to activity, adjust movements finding new ways to conduct work tasks and physical training. Avoidance strategies; avoid alcohol, social contacts after work, inform of RA and sometimes medicine. Action strategies; continue activities, attend activities as a spectator instead of being an active participant, go home if needed, say no, ask for help, and talk about RA. Acceptance strategies; accept pain, accept less work pace, accept less endurance and fewer activities.

Conclusions Men described dilemmas in everyday life due to RA, but not all experienced being restricted in life they rather expressed reorganizing their everyday lives.


  1. Shuttleworth RP (2004). Disabled masculinity; Expanding the masculine repertoire. In Smith BG, Hutchinson B (Eds). Gendering disability, New Brunswick, NJ; Rutgers University Press.

  2. Björk M, Thyberg I, Rikner K, Balogh I, Gerdle B. Sick leave before and after diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis: a report from the Swedish TIRA project. J Rheumatol 2009;36:1170-1179.

  3. Flanagan, C (1954). The critical incident technique. Psychological Bulletin, 51: p. 327-358.

  4. Cieza A, Geyh S, Chatterji S, Kostanjsek N, Ustun B, Stucki G ICF linking rules: an update based on lessons learned. J Rehabil Med. 2005;37:212-8.

  5. Sverker A, Thyberg I, Östlund G, Valtersson E, Thyberg M. (2013). Participation in work in early rheumatoid arthritis: A qualitative interview study interpreted in terms of the ICF. Disability & Rehabilitation May (3); ISSN1464-5165

Disclosure of Interest None declared

DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-eular.3717

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