Background: A web-based self-management intervention guided by peer-trainers was developed to support young adults' self-management in coping with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). To investigate its effectiveness, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted. In addition, the content of the chat and participants' goals were studied to identify underlying processes. Methods: An RCT with a six-month follow up period was conducted among 72 young adults with JIA, aged between 16 and 25 years old, randomly assigned to the intervention or to the usual care control group. After 24 weeks, in both groups 24 participants completed all measurements. Intentions to treat analyses were carried out by means of linear mixed models for longitudinal measurements. With self-efficacy as primary outcome, self-management, disease activity, quality of life, absenteeism of school/work, health care medication use and adherence to the intervention were studied. The participants' goals, personal achievements, interactions on the chat, and their appreciation of the intervention were analyzed using thematic analyses. Results: No significant differences were found on self-efficacy, quality of life, and self-management between the participants of the control group and the intervention group. In the intervention group, modeling and sharing experiences were the most recognized themes. Fifty-five goals were formulated and divided into the following categories: improvement and maintaining balance, setting and recognizing boundaries, communicating and coping with incomprehension. Adherence, appreciation of the own learning experience, and personal achievements were rated positively. Conclusion: The web-based intervention did not lead to an improvement of self-efficacy. However, additional qualitative analyses showed that the intervention was appreciated and valuable for the participants. More research is needed on how to measure the added value of this intervention compared to the usual care. Trial registration: Trial registration number NTR4679.

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Pediatric Rheumatology

Ammerlaan, J., van Os-Medendorp, H., de Boer-Nijhof, N. (Nienke), Scholtus, L. (Lieske), Kruize, A., van Pelt, P., … Bijlsma, H. (2017). Short term effectiveness and experiences of a peer guided web-based self-management intervention for young adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Pediatric Rheumatology, 15(1). doi:10.1186/s12969-017-0201-1