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Arthritis Disability—Multiplicity and Accommodations

Project Description

Our current understanding of the epidemiology and natural history of arthritis is extremely limited given its impact as a public health problem.

The CDC provided funds to the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan to examine arthritis-related disability among American adults using the National Health Interview Survey Disability Supplement (1994-1995). This project addressed (1) the multiplicity of disabilities in personal care, household management, physical, sensory, communication, and mental limitations; and (2) the scope of accommodations in residence, work, transportation, personal care, and household management.

Key Findings

  • Arthritis-disabled individuals when compared with individuals with disability from other conditions:
    • have more disabilities of all types including personal care, household management, physical tasks, transportation, home and work
    • the disabilities often cause fatigue, long task time and pain
    • report more barriers in getting around outside the home and at their workplace
  • There are active management strategies to handle these disabilities
  • Problems away from home and at work should inspire engineers and planners to improve public access and equipment for persons with this high-prevalence disability

Abstracts, Publications, Presentations

Verbrugge LM, and Juarez L. Profile of arthritis disability: II. Arthritis and Rheumatism (Arthritis Care & Research) 2006;55(1):102–113.

Verbrugge LM, and Juarez L. Profile of arthritis disability. Public Health Report 2001;116 Suppl 1:157–179.

Principal Investigator

Lois Verbrugge, Ph.D.
Institute of Gerontology
University of Michigan
300 North Ingalls
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2007

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