Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of self-management practices among older White and African American persons with osteoarthritis. Self-management was defined broadly to include all behaviors adopted to reduce morbidity, whether recommended by physicians or not. Methods: A population-based sample of Medicare beneficiaries (N = 551) was recruited. An expanded set of self-management behaviors using structured and open-ended inquiry, along with use of arthritis-specific medications was elicited. Results: Few differences in self-care behaviors between race groups were found. However, older African American persons were significantly less likely to have prescriptions for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and more likely to use over-the-counter nonprescription analgesics. Discussion: Older White and African American persons made similar use of self-care strategies to reduce disease morbidity. African Americans without access to prescription pain relievers substituted nonprescription analgesics. A broader view of self-management is valuable for assessing the ways people may move between professionally guided care and self-care.
- African American
- Population-based sample
- Prescription medication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies