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“You Obviously Just Have to Put on a Brave Face”: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences and Coping Styles of Men With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Flurey, Caroline A., Hewlett, Sarah, RODHAM, Karen, White, Alan, Noddings, Robert and Kirwan, John R. (2017) “You Obviously Just Have to Put on a Brave Face”: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences and Coping Styles of Men With Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Care & Research, 69 (3). pp. 330-337. ISSN 2151-464X

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Abstract or description

Objective
To explore the experiences, coping styles, and support preferences of male rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

Methods
Six focus groups comprised 22 men with RA. Transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.

Results
Three overarching themes describe the experiences, coping styles, and support preferences of men with RA. In “challenges to masculinity,” the men described a “reduction in strength and abilities,” which can lead to loss of independence, “challenges to masculine identity and role,” and “loss of power and control.” Coping by “getting through life with RA” meant dealing with RA by “just getting on with it,” “information seeking,” engaging in “destructive behaviors,” and “withdrawing socially.” Preferred “sources of support” tended not to include friends, as they were perceived to lack understanding or support. For acceptable support the men reported a preference for information‐giving sessions rather than a discussion group, but there was no agreement on whether these should be mixed‐sex or men only, or who should run the sessions.

Conclusion
Male patients reported a range of coping styles and support preferences to address their experiences of living with RA, many of which may not be shared with women. Further research is needed to investigate whether these findings exist in a larger sample and whether the support preferences of men with RA are broadly different from those of women with RA to decide whether there is a clinical need to design a service for the potentially different needs of men.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router. ** Licence for VoR version of this article starting on 25-02-2017: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rheumatology
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: JISC pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC pubrouter
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 13:40
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2018 13:40
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/4674

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