Arthritis in Indian country: Determining the prevalence and effects

Barbara A Elliott, Karen M. Johnson, Robert D. Leff, John J. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: This project was designed to determine the prevalence of self-reported arthritis and its effect on the daily lives of Chippewa Indian people on tribal lands in Wisconsin. Design and Methods: After review and approval by the LCO Tribal Council and the University of Minnesota Human Subjects Committee, face-to-face interviews with randomly selected tribal residents were conducted, followed by focus group formation, and medical chart reviews. Results: Eighty-one percent (N = 82) of the eligible sample were interviewed. Fifty-six percent (N = 46) self-reported a diagnosis of arthritis, either by physician report or description of symptoms confirmed by a rheumatologist. Seventy-eight percent of this group (N = 36) reported limitations in their activities that can be attributed to arthritis. Only half of the medical charts included the diagnosis of arthritis or any tests to document its diagnosis. Conclusions: In this Chippewa population, the prevalence of and limitations due to arthritis are extremely high. Reasons for this need further investigation. The implications of these findings for tribal and health planning include housing, community activities, and medical services to accommodate the needs of this group. (Ethn Dis. 2000;10:224-231).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • American Indians
  • Arthritis
  • Self-reported Arthritis


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