International guidelines for the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis recommend education, exercise, weight management (if required), and medication if needed. Currently, Canada has no OA guidelines and there is no coordinated activity to implement international guidelines, leaving primary care physicians struggling to manage their patients’ symptoms.
Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA:D) is an evidence-based conservative management program for people with hip or knee OA that addresses the recommended best practice of education and exercise. Developed by Danish researchers, the 8-week program consists of two education sessions and 12 tailored neuromuscular exercise sessions delivered by certified therapists. The program has been shown to reduce participants’ pain and use of pain medications, increase their physical activity levels, and reduce the number of days on sick leave.
The GLA:D program, licensed to the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation as GLA:D Canada, is being implemented across the country by Bone and Joint Canada. Therapists are being trained from public and private clinics through a 1.5-day course focusing on best practices in OA management. Currently, there are over 30 sites that have implemented the program across the country in private and public rehabilitation clinics and recreation centres, with more sites launching in the fall of 2017. More information about the program including locations can be found at http://gladcanada.ca.
The program also collects participant outcomes at baseline, 3 months, and 1 year, thereby providing data so that we can continue to improve the management of OA across the country.
For results on the Danish program, visit www.glaid.dk.
—Mariel Ang, MPH, BA Kin
Krembil Research Institute
—Rhona McGlasson, MBA, PT
Bone and Joint Canada
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