Joint pain, caused by osteoarthritis (OA), is a considerable problem for many people in the UK (Murray et al 2013) and can result in disability and loss of independence, while also being extremely costly for the individual and the NHS (Chen et al 2010). Although it is not yet possible to cure OA, self-management strategies for people experiencing joint pain are considered to improve health outcomes and reduce costs (Kroon et al 2014; Naylor et al 2013). The use of technology to support self-management may empower people to manage their pain and related disability (Castle-Clarke 2018). Furthermore, internet-based technologies offer a potentially feasible and effective solution, given that 90% of UK households now have internet access (ONS 2018). These recent figures also demonstrate an increasing number of older adults using the internet; important given that the prevalence of OA increases with age. However, OA is also more commonplace in lower socio-economic groups (Luong et al 2012), where health literacy levels are often low. The integration of appropriate self-management information with everyday social networks may assist to support these groups to achieve self-management behaviours (Reeves et al 2014).
Aims and objectives
Aim – To develop an accessible digital self-management and social network activation programme for people with joint pain
- To iteratively design, alongside user led groups, a digital self-management programme for people with joint pain, which is accessible for people with lower levels of health literacy
- To link this digital self-management programme with the GENIE social network activation tool and explore the feasibility and usability of this linked approach for users
Participants were recruited from three community groups in Southampton if they were over 50 years of age and had self-reported joint pain. Participants were asked to review two existing websites, namelyand GENIE ( ) and take part in a focus group discussion. Using a person based approach (Yardley et al 2015), the participant feedback was coded and categorised to establish guiding principles to inform the development of the web-based resource. Further think aloud studies are planned with participants to review the feasibility of the proposed self-management tool.