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Patient perceptions of physical activity after a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis: Analysis of multinational qualitative data

Austin, Keziah; Dures, Emma; Almeida, Celia; Cramp, Fiona; Guly, Catherine M.; Hill, Catherine L.; Hoon, Elizabeth A.; Mackie, Sarah; O'Brien, Anne V.; Watts, Richard A.; Robson, Joanna C.


Keziah Austin

Emma Dures
Associate Professor in Rheumatology and Self-management

Fiona Cramp
Professor in Long Term Conditions

Catherine M. Guly

Catherine L. Hill

Elizabeth A. Hoon

Sarah Mackie
Faculty Lead on Practice-Oriented Curriculum

Anne V. O'Brien

Richard A. Watts

Joanna C. Robson


Objective: To explore patient perceptions of physical activity in giant cell arteritis (GCA). Methods: This was a multinational qualitative study, analyzing interview data collected from participants from the UK (n=25) and Australia (n=11) with a definitive diagnosis of GCA from imaging or biopsy. Interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis to identify themes related to physical activity. This was secondary analysis of data collected to explore health-related quality of life in people with GCA. Results: A total of 108 individual codes pertaining to physical activity were identified. These were grouped into 2 overarching themes: barriers to and facilitators of physical activity, each with 4 subthemes. Barriers were categorized into physical symptoms (including visual loss, fatigue, weakness, pain, and stiffness), perceptions of personal capability (including poor stamina, confidence, and mobility), negative perceptions of physical activity, and negative consequences. Facilitators of physical activity were categorized into external facilitators (including motivation from health care professionals and support groups), access to appropriate facilities, personal strategies (including pacing and goal-setting), and personal facilitators (including internal motivation to improve symptoms, and positive reinforcement). Conclusion: A range of barriers and facilitators to physical activity were identified in relation to GCA. Future work could include development of an intervention to support physical activity in patients with GCA; ideally this intervention should be underpinned by an appropriate behavioral change framework and codesigned with patients.


Austin, K., Dures, E., Almeida, C., Cramp, F., Guly, C. M., Hill, C. L., …Robson, J. C. (2022). Patient perceptions of physical activity after a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis: Analysis of multinational qualitative data. Arthritis Care and Research, 74(1), 99-106.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 30, 2021
Publication Date 2022-01
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2022
Journal Arthritis Care and Research
Print ISSN 2151-464X
Electronic ISSN 2151-4658
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Issue 1
Pages 99-106
Keywords Rheumatology
Public URL