Research Article  |   November 2013
Effects of Cognitive Task Demands on Subsequent Symptoms and Activity in Adults With Symptomatic Osteoarthritis
Author Affiliations
  • Anna L. Kratz, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Stacey L. Schepens, PhD, OTR, is Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Susan L. Murphy, ScD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls Building, 9th Floor, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, and Research Health Science Specialist, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Health Care System; sumurphy@umich.edu
Article Information
Arthritis / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Productive Aging
Research Article   |   November 2013
Effects of Cognitive Task Demands on Subsequent Symptoms and Activity in Adults With Symptomatic Osteoarthritis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, 683-691. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008540
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, 683-691. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008540
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Adults with osteoarthritis (OA) experience fatigue in daily life that is negatively related to physical activity; however, it is unclear how task demands affect fatigue and occupational performance. We examined effects of a cognitive task on subsequent symptoms and activity.

METHOD. Adults with knee or hip OA completed a standardized cognitive task during a lab visit. Objective physical activity and symptoms were tracked during two home-monitoring periods (i.e., 4-day period before and 5-day period after the lab visit). Multilevel modeling was used to compare pretask with posttask fatigue, pain, and activity levels.

RESULTS. Fatigue increased and pain decreased for 2 days after performing the lab task. The authors found no pretask to posttask changes in activity levels. At posttask, daily fatigue and activity patterns changed relative to baseline.

CONCLUSION. For adults with symptomatic OA, cognitive task demands may be an important contributor to fatigue and pain.