Making rheumtogrow: The rationale and framework (pp. 451-461)
Authors: Peter Scal, Ann Garwick, and Keith J. Horvath
Abstract: Programs to support youth with chronic conditions as they transition to adulthood and from pediatric to adult healthcare are being developed and disseminated. Yet the evidence base to support these programs is generally lacking. In response to the need for theoretically grounded youth focused programs we developed Rheumtogrow.org, an internet based health care transition intervention for youth with Juvenile Arthritis. Guided by Self-Determination Theory and developed through a user centered and participatory process, this intervention seeks to increase the likelihood that youth with arthritis will engage in behaviors that reduce the impact that arthritis has on their lives across multiple domains. Key intervention components support Self Determination Theory constructs of autonomy, competence and relatedness through interactive activities that include opportunities for self-monitoring and reflection, youth-to-youth information sharing and social support, and accurate, accessible and developmentally targeted health and arthritis specific information. Rheumtogrow.org has been developed to be tested by matching existing evidence, theory, intervention strategies and evaluation measures. A usability and feasibility study is now being conducted.