Focus Groups Results

In 2000, the Kansas Statewide Steering Committee conducted six focus groups in five communities in the state of Kansas. The purpose of these focus groups was to provide directive information for the Kansas Statewide Arthritis Steering Committee on: the impact of arthritis on the lives of Kansans, coping techniques of Kansans with arthritis, and whether they were aware of appropriate and adequate prevention and care services.

Table 1 gives the demographics of the Kansans with arthritis who participated in the focus groups. Participants ranged in age from 25 to 82 with mean age of 53. These focus groups were conducted in: Garden City, Liberal, Osage City, Haskell Indian Nation, and Wichita.

Table 1: Demographics of Focus Group Participants






African American
Native American




Full time



Each of the participants were asked the following questions:

  • How does arthritis impact your life?
  • How do you attempt to cope with your arthritis?
  • What are the barriers that you face when trying to cope with your arthritis?
  • What is your relationship with your physician?

Figure 1 states the results of the focus groups. The responses from each question can be broken down into primary categories that can be further broken down into major components.

Results from these focus groups, along with other data sources have been fundamental in the development of the state plan and arthritis program objectives.

Figure 1: Results from the Focus Groups

Question 1: How does arthritis impact your life?

  • Physical Impact
    • Physical disability
    • Pain
    • Physical location of arthritis
  • Activities of daily living impact
    • Limiting employment
    • Dexterity and strength
    • Locomotion
    • Limited recreational activities
  • Psychological/Emotional impact
    • Depression
    • Anger
    • Frustration
  • Social Impact
    • Isolation

Question 2 : How do you attempt to cope with your arthritis ?

  • Behavioral Coping
    • Movement/exercise
    • Family/friend support
    • Medication use
    • Physical adaptation
  • Cognitive Coping
    • Positive thinking
    • Distraction

Question 3 : What are the barriers that you face when trying to cope with your arthritis?

  • Barriers
    • Lack of resources
    • Medication side effects
    • Physical barriers
    • Lack of empathy from others
    • Treatment inefficacy

Question 4: What is your relationship with your physician

  • Positive physician relationship
    • Good communication
    • Empathy
  • Negative physician relationship
    • Lack of empathy
    • Lack of time
    • Lack of arthritis specific knowledge
  • Perceived general effective treatment prescription
    • Prescribed medication
    • Exercise
  • Effective treatments
    • Exercise
    • Heat therapy
    • Prescribed medication
  • Ineffective treatments
    • General medication
    • Over the Counter Medication
  • Services used
    • Arthritis Foundation sponsored services.