Objective: To determine whether a couple-oriented intervention for osteoarthritis (OA) was more efficacious than a patient-oriented intervention and whether each intervention was more efficacious than usual medical care. Research Design: 242 older adults with OA and their spouses were randomly assigned to patient-oriented education and support, couple-oriented education and support, or usual care. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses indicated no significant differences between the 3 study conditions in outcomes for individuals with OA or their spouses. Completers analyses showed that at the 6-month follow-up, contrary to prediction, individuals with OA who received the patient-oriented intervention reported greater reductions in pain and improvements in physical function than those who received the couple-oriented intervention. At the postintervention assessment, spouses who received the coupleoriented intervention reported greater reductions in stress and a trend toward less critical attitudes than spouses of individuals with OA who received the patient-oriented intervention. Moderator analyses indicated that female spouses and spouses with high marital satisfaction who received the couple-oriented intervention also experienced better outcomes in terms of depressive symptoms and caregiver mastery. Conclusions: A couples approach to education and support for OA may offer no advantage for individuals with OA but may prove helpful for spouses, thereby indirectly benefiting individuals with OA over time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health