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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Foland


rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis patient social networks, internet


Rheumatoid arthritis affects 2.1 million people in the United States. People with rheumatoid arthritis may have limited mobility and decreased social interactions. The study purpose was to measure satisfaction with social support for people with rheumatoid arthritis who are participants in an arthritis Internet support group. Another purpose was to determine the coping behaviors of this group. Finally, to describe the relationship between satisfaction with social support and coping style.
A descriptive correlational design was used. A convenience sample of31 arthritis Internet support group participants with RA was chosen. Social support satisfaction was measured with the Personal Resource Questionairre-85. Study participants had a high level of satisfaction with social support. Coping methods and style were measured with the Jaloweic Coping Scale. Study participants used a confrontive coping style more often than a palliative or emotive style. There was a statistically significant positive relationship between arthritis Internet support group and total coping score. There was no relationship between satisfaction with social support and coping style.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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