The overall goal of this study is to use the principles of chronic disease management to
develop and test an online social networking intervention using the FB platform in a
randomized controlled trial. Our specific objectives are as follows:
Aim 1: To develop and establish an independent closed community in FB for patients with
rheumatoid arthritis, providing an educational platform for disease self-management and the
potential for engaging in social networking with peers (Phase 2).
Objective 1. To beta test the features and navigation buttons and panels in the newly
developed website and FB group.
Objective 2. To evaluate the contents, ease of use and satisfaction with the newly developed
website and FB group by patient advocates (consultants to the study) who participate as
members of the Facebook community.
Aim 2: To evaluate the efficacy of the FB community intervention combined with an educational
website to improve patients' self-management (including knowledge, which is the primary
outcome), decision making and patient-reported outcomes compared with the educational website
alone (Phase 3). We hypothesize that participation in an online closed community offering
evidence-based information combined with peer interaction and support will improve patients'