Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We examined how women with osteoarthritis naturally use activity pacing and how pacing relates to symptoms and physical activity within daily routines.

METHOD. Thirty women with knee or hip osteoarthritis (mean age = 63.8 ± 6.9) wore an actigraph accelerometer and repeatedly reported activity pacing, pain, and fatigue. Using the median split, symptom patterns were compared for low and high pacers. The relationship between activity pacing and physical activity was also examined.

RESULTS. Activity pacing was low (1.4 ± 0.9); pain and fatigue were mild (1.0 ± 0.7 and 1.1 ± 0.7, respectively). When compared with low pacers, high pacers had more severe, escalating symptoms. Activity pacing was related to lower physical activity (β = −28.14, SE = 6.24), t (586) = −4.51, p = .0001.

CONCLUSION. Pain, fatigue, and activity pacing use varied depending on average activity pacing level. High pacers may benefit from interventions to manage daily symptoms.

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