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Table 2 Summary characteristics of factor groups (Mean, SD)

From: A Q-methodology study of flare help-seeking behaviours and different experiences of daily life in rheumatoid arthritis

Factor Eigenvalue % variance explained Gender Age (yrs) Dis Dur (yrs) HAQ Pt Global Summary
Daily life study (n = 30) n/a n/a 73.3% f 54.6 (11.8) 15.2 (11.3) 1.3 (0.9) 3.2 (2.2)  
26.7% m
Daily Life Factor A (n = 7) 3.29 11% 85.7% f 61.7 (10.3) 22.7 (10.8) 2.0 (0.6) 3.1 (0.7) Patients ‘take active control’, they use effective self-management strategies, which they have developed through experience, they have become experts in managing their RA and they know what works for them. They take a practical approach to managing their RA, using preventative rather than crisis management techniques. They are predominantly female, older, with longer disease duration and more disabled.
14.3% m
Daily Life Factor B (n = 9) 3.97 13% 25.0% f 54.9 (7.1) 15.3 (14.3) 1.3 (0.9) 4.8 (2.5)  
75.0% m
Factor B- (n = 8) n/a n/a 37.5% f 55.5 (7.3) 15.3 (14.3) 1.5 (0.8) 5.3 (2.1) These patients, mainly men, seem to prioritise their physical symptoms, reporting negative thoughts and emotions associated with their RA, and they cannot find self-management or coping strategies that work for them. They may therefore be experiencing a sense of hopelessness about their lives with RA. Despite having less disability than patients in Factor A, these patients seem to be in a ‘constant struggle’ with their RA.
62.5% m
Factor B + (n = 1) n/a n/a Male 50.0 (n/a) Not known 0.0 (n/a) 0.5 (n/a)  
Daily Life Factor C (n = 7) 2.67 9% 100% f 42.4 (11.2) 9.9 (10.2) 0.5 (0.5) 1.7 (1.0) These patients, all female and younger on average than the patients in Factors A and B seem to ‘put RA in its place’ by prioritising their responsibilities above their RA. These patients have lower average HAQ and patient global scores than the other two daily life Factors, which may be the reason that they seem to experience less impact of their RA, but it may also be due to assigning less importance to their RA as a coping strategy.
0% m
Flare Help-Seeking study (n = 29) n/a n/a 72.4% f 54.6 (11.8) 15.2 (11.3) 1.3 (0.9) 3.2 (2.2)  
27.6 m
Help-Seeking Factor X (n = 16) 10.18 35% 68.8% f 54.8 (9.6) 15.2 (10.4) 1.4 (0.8) 3.3 (2.1) These patients will not wait to seek help when they are in an RA flare. They make a ‘definite decision’ that their symptoms constitute a flare and that the medical team are there to help them.
31.2% m
Help-Seeking Factor Y (n = 6) 4.58 16% 66.7% f 50.5 (15.4) 18.7 (13.9) 1.2 (1.0) 4.1 (2.6) These patients will wait to seek help for their RA flares, whilst going through a period of ‘cautious indecision’. These patients are indecisive as to whether their flare needs medical help as they hope it will go away on its own and are cautious of seeking help due to worries about wasting the medical team’s time and beliefs they should manage alone.
33.3% m
  1. Dis Dur = Disease Duration HAQ = Health Assessment Questionnaire score 0–3, high bad.
  2. Pt Global = Disease activity score patient global measure 0–10, high bad.