Background: The incidence of many chronic diseases is increasing rapidly in South Korea. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease for which treatment by both doctors and long-term self-care by patients is deemed very important for successful disease management. Purpose: This study is designed to examine and identify the factors influencing self-care competence in Korean women with rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was employed. Participants included 132 women aged 20 years or older who were visiting rheumatoid arthritis outpatient clinics at hospitals in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. Measures included a demographics form, Self-as-Carer Inventory, Korean Activities of Daily Living scale, Visual Analogue Scale, Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale-Community Form, and Self-esteem Scale. Results: The analyses illustrated the significance of the prediction model (F = 21.744, p <.001). The value of the adjusted R 2 was set at.401, corresponding to 40.1% explanatory power. Uncertainty (β =-.43) and self-esteem (β =.26) were identified as having the most influence on self-care competence in Korean women with rheumatoid arthritis. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: This cross-sectional study yielded preliminary evidence that nursing interventions that reduce uncertainty and improve self-esteem in Korean women with rheumatoid arthritis are necessary to promote the self-care competence of this vulnerable population. Healthcare professionals should recognize uncertainty and self-esteem as factors that influence self-care competence in Korean women with rheumatoid arthritis.
- rheumatoid arthritis