Additionally, the reference lists of all retrieved articles were scrutinized. Alison Hammond, the author of four of the included journals, was also emailed on Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org., to provideadditional unpublished studies relevant to this literature review. Unfortunately, no reply was received.
Table three lists the inclusion criteria applied to the search strategy, as well as exclusion criteria and therationale for same.
Inclusion criteria Exclusion criteria
Diagnosis of RA, as other arthritic diseasesare not being analysed.
English language only to facilitatecomprehension.
Adults over 18 years of age, in order tofocus specifically on the adult populationand not Juvenile RA.
Joint protection education had to be anexplicit intervention method used, eithersingly or as the predominant segment of abroader intervention.
Peer-reviewed journals only.
Ethically approved articles only.
Studies with one or more or the followingoutcome measures; pain, functional abilityand quality of life as well as secondaryoutcomes including knowledge of thedisease and adherence.
Trial designs less than level 4 were excludedas they have a lower hierarchical evidenceclassification.
If outcome measures did not evaluatephysical or functional ability, as thepredominant objective of joint protection isthe promotion or maintenance of functionalability.
Abstracts of articles requiring payment forfull-text editions were excluded, as theywould lead to excessive costs.
Table 4 illustrates a list of the literature featured in this review, as well as the methodologicalclassification for the various publication types, as defined by Guyatt & Rennie (2004).