This paper presents the design and evaluation of an occupational therapy program developed at the National Institutes of Health for teaching energy conservation and joint protection to adults with rheumatoid arthritis. An existing model for educational diagnosis in health education was used to identify program, behavioral, and educational objectives for the new program. The use of this model resulted in measurable objectives, which were used as outcome measures in the randomized research evaluation of the new program. The dependent variables measured were activity-of-daily-living status, psychosocial adjustment to illness, knowledge, disease activity, pain, and fatigue. None were significantly different after the intervention. The independent variables measured included components of balancing rest and physical activity. After 3 months, a greater percentage of the subjects receiving the workbook-based occupational therapy program than those receiving traditional occupational therapy demonstrated an application of the behaviors the intervention was designed to change.

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