A Physiotherapist led intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis- a pilot study

As a long-term chronic condition, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can have a significant long-term impact. Typically presenting as a disease that causes joint pain and swelling, excessive tiredness and difficulty doing everyday activities RA occurs usually in people over 40 and is three times more likely in women than men. There has been strong evidence in recent years for the benefit of being active when someone has RA - however, it can be quite a challenge for someone with RA to get active and to stay active. The disease can affect how well someone sleeps leading to more fatigue and little interest in being physically active. Evidence also tells us that people with RA like to work with their rheumatology health professional to manage their disease and need support from them and their colleagues to become more physically active as an important aspect of managing their RA. This study will examine if people with RA who are not physically active can benefit from working with a physiotherapist trained in helping people overcome the barriers to being physically active leading to them being more physically active overall. The physiotherapist will use techniques called behaviour change techniques as part of the one-to-one intervention. To help to see if this is the case the researchers first need to work out if the new approach will work in practice. To do this they are doing a first study, called a pilot study, to work out the practicalities of doing the study before we proceed to doing it as a larger study in different rheumatology centres in Ireland. This is an important step to see how the intervention works, how easy it is to recruit participants and to see what they think of the intervention and the outcome measures to be used.

Award Date
07 March 2019
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Norelee Kennedy
Host Institution
University of Limerick