This paper describes the development and implementation of a hand exercise intervention for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as part of a large multi-centred randomised controlled trial in a UK National Health Service (NHS) setting.
Participants are eligible if diagnosed with RA according to American College of Rheumatology criteria, have a history of disease activity, functional deficit or impairment in the hand and/or wrist, and have been on a stable medication regime for at least 3 months.
The intervention development was informed by the current evidence base, published guidelines, clinician and expert opinion, and a pilot study.
The exercise programme targets known, potentially modifiable physical impairments of the hand with 5 exercise sessions and a home exercise component over a 12 week period.
The intervention will be provided to 240 participants along with usual care.
A further 240 will receive usual care only as part of the control arm. Specific details of the treatments delivered are described. [ISRCTN no: 89936343].
Development and delivery of an exercise intervention for rheumatoid arthritis: Strengthening and stretching for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand (SARAH) trial P.J. Heine, M.A. Williams, E. Williamson, C. Bridle, J. Adams, A. O’Brien, D. Evans, S.E. Lamb, on behalf of the SARAH team
Physiotherapy - June 2012 (Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pages 121-130, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2011.03.001)