Sustaining activity with arthritis (SAWA) following an Arthritis Ireland Be active with arthritis (BAWA) exercise programme

Best practice guidelines across the world always recommend those living with arthritis to be physically active. Research shows that being active can help people living with arthritis to do the things that they want to do for longer, reduce pain, improve quality of life and protect against getting other health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and cancer. Although exercise helps people with arthritis to start being active, staying active in the longer-term is more difficult and there is often a decrease in activity over time. Research has shown that exercise programmes helping people to become active, such as exercise classes, may not always have the right approach and focus during the programme to help people to stay active long-term. 

This project will co-design a new programme in collaboration with people with arthritis to help them stay active longer-term, after taking part in an exercise programme (for example, the ‘Be Active With Arthritis’ programme delivered by Arthritis Ireland). We have three stages to this research: 

  1. We will look at the scientific evidence to find good ways to help people living with arthritis keep up physical activity. 
  2. After this, we will recruit people with arthritis, their families, healthcare and exercise professionals as well as Arthritis Ireland staff, to take part in group discussions to find out what they need and expect from this new programme. Their involvement and feedback will allow us to work together to develop a programme that suits the needs of people with arthritis and helps them to continue to be physically active. 
  3. We will ask people living with arthritis who have done the ‘Be Active With Arthritis’ to try out the new programme and provide their feedback through interviews. We will also assess how it can be rolled out in the future.
Award Date
01 July 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Suzanne McDonough
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
HRCI-HRB Joint Funding Scheme