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Arthritis Program Health Disparities Activities

Addressing health disparities is a central focus of the strategic plans for both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as Healthy People 2020 and the National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy. In keeping with this aim the CDC Arthritis Program analyzes survey data to determine racial/ethnic and gender differences associated with arthritis prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and limitations. The Arthritis Program is engaged in extensive audience research, which involves systematic research and message-testing among diverse subgroups (racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, gender, age, disability status, risk status) of adults with arthritis to determine optimal messaging when promoting physical activity and self-management education.

Programmatic Activities

Tomando Control de su Salud (Spanish Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP))

Tomando Control de su Salud is a self-management education program developed for Spanish-speaking adults with a variety of chronic health problems. Workshops for this program are given once a week for two and a half hours, for a six week period, in a community setting. Each session is facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic disease themselves. All workshops are given in Spanish without translators. This program is similar in content and process to the English language version of CDSMP, but Tomando Control de su Salud was developed in Spanish to address health topics and concerns in a culturally appropriate manner. Topics covered in the program include: appropriate use of the health care system, how to evaluate new treatments, communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals, healthy eating, appropriate use of medications, techniques to deal with problems, and appropriate exercises for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance. A similar program that focuses exclusively on arthritis is also available. More information about the program is available.

Buenos Días, Artritis

This health communications campaign designed to reach Spanish-speaking adults with arthritis between the ages of 45–64, whose annual income is $35,000 or less. This campaign is targeted primarily to persons within the audience whose symptoms have advanced to the point where arthritis is perceived as interfering with one or more life activities, such as work or family commitments. The campaign is designed to do the following:

  • Raise awareness of exercise as a way to manage arthritis pain and increase mobility.
  • Increase understanding of how to use exercise (which types and for how long/duration) to ease arthritis symptoms and prevent further disability.
  • Enhance the confidence or belief of persons with arthritis so that they can engage in moderate exercise.
  • Increase trial of moderate exercise behaviors.

State funded programs

State programs use data to focus interventions in areas with the greatest need, often partnering with organizations supporting underserved populations. State arthritis programs have previously focused on building capacity to disseminate and deliver evidence-based interventions. The current funding cycle builds on lessons learned from these activities, with a new emphasis to embed arthritis interventions in existing systems and expand their use.

State Health Department Arthritis Programs use CDC funding to strengthen partnerships with state Arthritis Foundation chapters and others, increase public awareness, improve their ability to monitor the burden of arthritis, coordinate activities, and increase the availability of interventions. The central aim is to improve the quality of life among persons affected by arthritis. One of the most important activities for states is to increase awareness of arthritis management options and to promote self-management education and physical activity.

Information about the arthritis program’s health disparities epidemiology and research activities is available.

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  • Arthritis Program
    Mailstop F-78
    4770 Buford Hwy NE
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
  • Phone: 770.488.5464
    Fax: 770.488.5964
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