ARIZONA PROMOTES ARTHRITIS SELF-HELP COURSE
Proven program helps patients manage pain to improve quality of life
Public Health Problem
• In Arizona, 26 percent of the population has doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
• This disease affects approximately 1,068,000 adults and is the number one leading
cause of disability.
• Health care costs for arthritis totaled nearly $86 billion dollars in 1997, including
$51 billion dollars in direct costs, and $35 billion in indirect costs.
• The Arizona Department of Health Services Arthritis Program, the Arthritis
Foundation, Greater Southwest Chapter, and the University of Arizona Arthritis
Center have formed a partnership to decrease the burden of arthritis in Arizona by
increasing the number of Arthritis Self Help Course available, increasing the
awareness of arthritis as a public health burden, and accurately identifying the true
burden of arthritis in Arizona.
• The Arthritis Self Help Courses are a six-week course intended to improve a
patient’s participation in the management of their disease. It emphasizes pain
management techniques, problem solving skills, and goal setting.
• There are currently more than 20 classes being conducted across the state of
Arizona, with the majority of them in the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas.
• Quarterly reports monitor the status of the courses and determine if there are
additional areas that need to be considered to host a course.
• The Arthritis Self Help Course has been shown to reduce pain, improve quality-of-
life, and reduce utilization of medical services.
• The benefits of the Arthritis Self Help Course have been shown to last at least four
• The quarterly reports provided to the Arizona Department of Health Services
Arthritis Program help the program to track their success rate in providing services
that keep arthritis patients healthy and mobile.
Arizona Department of Health Services