All posts related to "research"

Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus? Join the OPAM-IA study and get active!

FitBit Tracker for Active livingParticipate in a new study that will use wearable activity trackers, paired with a new web application, and physical activity counselling to help you get more active!

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are types of inflammatory arthritis that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints, and affects your immune system. Physical activity can help to decrease pain and disability in joints affected by RA and SLE while benefiting your overall health.

If you are a person living with RA or SLE, and are interested in getting more active, we invite YOU to participate in the OPAM-IA study. Through participating in the OPAM-IA study, you will learn how to get active with RA or SLE. You will be asked to attend an education session, use a Fitbit Flex activity tracker with the new web application, and receive counselling from a registered physiotherapist. The total time commitment for the study is 6 months.

If you are interested, please fill out a 2-minute screening questionnaire.All responses will remain confidential, and you will be contacted by a research staff member within 48 hours to discuss your eligibility further.

Survey Link:
http://open.arthritisresearch.ca/survey/index.php?r=survey/index/sid/455398/lang/en

For more information, contact Navi Grewal, study coordinator at 604-207-4053 or 1-844-707-4053 (toll free), or via email at opam.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

Call for participants – Making it work: Employment & Arthritis

Drawing of a desktop work spaceMaking it work: Employment & Arthritis 

Arthritis Research Canada is looking for participants to join a study on preventing work loss for people with osteoarthritis. 

Purpose of this study: The aim of this study is to develop an on-line eLearning self-management program to help people with osteoarthritis deal with employment issues and stay employed.

Who can participate?
Anyone from the province of British Columbia and Alberta.

To be eligible to participate in this study, you must:

  1. Be between the ages of 18 and 70 years;
  2. Have been told by a physician that you have osteoarthritis in either the hip, the knee, or your hands;
  3. Be currently employed OR having stopped working in the past 5 years;

What is involved? Continue reading

Raynaud’s may be more common in women of childbearing age

Findings from a recent study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology may explain why Raynaud’s is more common in women of childbearing age. The study examined the relationship between palm blood flow and estrogen in mice. According to researchers, “estrogen may contribute to the development of Raynaud’s phenomenon in women”.

About estrogen

Estrogen is a one of two main sex hormones that women have. It is responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Estrogen creates the changes common in puberty, such as growth of the breasts, hair in the pubic area and under the arms and the beginning of menstruation. The hormone helps control the menstrual cycle, protect bone health and keep cholesterol in control. Below is a helpful infographic Hormone Health Network to help you understand what estrogen is.

Infographic on estrogen, mentioned in this article about Raynaud's

About Raynaud’s phenomenon Continue reading

Patient experiences of rheumatoid arthritis models of care: An international survey

As part of an international network of RA patient organizations, Arthritis Consumer Experts invites you to participate in a global survey of RA patients to examine the diagnosis, treatment and care they receive for their RA. The goal of this survey is to understand, from the patient experience and perspective, how current “models of care” for rheumatoid arthritis compare between countries.

Global RA Network Survey BannerYour experience and perspective matter

As a person living with RA, sharing your experiences about the care you receive is vitally important. With your help, we can meet the study goals and develop education and information programs to improve patients’ understanding about RA models of care to enable the best treatment outcomes possible in Canada.

How you can participate

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to answer a survey questionnaire, which should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All the information gathered during the survey will be combined to protect your privacy and anonymity.

To be eligible to participate in this survey, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Receive health care in Canada
  • Have access to the internet

Thank you for considering our request to participate in this survey. Your participation will help you and other people living with RA in your country know more about the health care they should be receiving.

Please click here to complete the survey.

Walk10Blocks helps get sedentary people moving

The Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute published a news article about the Walk10Blocks app, commenting how researcher-consumer-patient group collaboration can facilitate knowledge translation. The Walk10Blocks team thanks the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and other groups for sharing the Walk10Blocks app with their network.

Below is an excerpt of the article:

Researcher-consumer-patient Group Collaboration Facilitates Knowledge Translation

Two people walking with Walk10Blocks app on mobile phoneWalk10Blocks helps get sedentary people moving.

The development process behind a new app to help sedentary people get moving shows how unique partnerships between researchers, consumers, and patient groups can lead to innovative health research. Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) scientists Dr. Linda Li and Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose credit the collaboration between themselves and consumer and patient groups, including Arthritis Consumer Experts, the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and CARP (the Canadian Association of Retired Persons), for the development of the Walk10Blocks app.

Dr. Linda Li, professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Patient-Oriented Knowledge Translation at UBC and Arthritis Research Canada. 

“We’re very proud of this collaboration. It’s a perfect example of how researchers getting together with patient and public groups can come up with innovative ideas and actually make things happen,” says Dr. Li.

“I’ve built apps before for other research projects and it usually takes a very long time. Walk10Blocks only took one year from conception to testing launch in the community. When consumer and patient groups are involved–they know what works and they’re really driven to get things done fast and done right.”

Walk10Blocks is the first app designed specifically to help adults get over the hurdle of starting regular physical activity by encouraging them to walk 10 blocks a day (or about one kilometre per day), which according to research may help delay or minimize risk of dementia and improve cardiovascular and joint health over time. 

Walk10Blocks, which is currently available for free on iTunes, can be installed on an iPhone 5S or above. The app uses the phone’s core motion sensor to collect data about a person’s movement activity. The app converts this activity into a walking log, which tracks the distance travelled throughout the day and how many theoretical city blocks have been covered. The goal is to encourage sedentary people to walk at least 10 blocks per day. The app offers motivating, friendly alerts, has easy-to-read measurements, helps set reasonable walking goals, and awards badges for meeting goals.

By downloading the app, Walk10Blocks participants have also agreed to take part in an innovative research study that uses the app to collect data through surveys. Information gathered for the study includes patients’ fatigue, pain, mood, stress, and walk ratings to give researchers a better understanding of what individuals’ walking opportunities look like. The study also aims to help users recognize and understand their own physical activity levels and sedentary behaviour, create awareness about neighbourhood resources, and determine the overall feasibility of the app.

Development of the app started with one of Drs. Li and Liu-Ambrose’s research groups consulting with patient groups and receiving a grant from the Improving Cognitive and Joint Health Network (ICON), a Canadian Institutes of Health Research knowledge translation catalyst network.

“What we heard loud and clear through our consultations was a desire for more efficient, effective use of what we know about physical activity and its health benefits in terms of managing diseases, especially for people whose health may worsen without it.”

Early on, the groups met with Dr. Liu-Ambrose, researcher at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, who shared with them current evidence with relation to exercise and cognitive function. According to Dr. Li, the group was most interested in findings from a nine-year observational study in the U.S. that showed that walking approximately 10 city-sized blocks results in better cognition and better brains.

“That specific information had our consumer groups almost jumping for joy because to them it was finally something concrete that could be used and brought back to stakeholder groups as the minimum amount of physical activity you needed to do for positive effect,” according to Dr. Li.

Dr. Liu-Ambrose, who is also Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience, says the group got quite motivated by the idea that you don’t necessarily need to run a marathon to have a positive impact on brain health. “This led to the concept of the app and Cheryl Koehn, president of Arthritis Consumer Experts and head of our arthritis patient group, really has been the driving force behind it.”

“The evidence is accumulating to suggest that exercise is beneficial–but where there is a void is how to put it into action. The app is a bit of that component,” she adds. “When everyone has a common goal and shared interests, I think that’s when we make good progress.”

“And so in many ways, recommending regular activities, such as moderately paced walking, seems to be a pretty reasonable approach for promoting physical and cognitive health over the lifespan.”

Osteoarthritis will cost the Canadian economy $17.5 billion per year

Knee with osteoarthritis

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to a study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, the rate of osteoarthritis (OA) is increasing and Canada’s aging population and rising rate of obesity is to blame. Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of chronic pain and loss of mobility in Canada and is associated with reduced productivity and increased burden on the health care system.

Statistics Canada reports that almost two-thirds of Canadian adults and 23% of children are overweight or obese. “These compelling demographic trends will increase the burden of OA and the associated disability among the working age population will become substantial in the coming years,” Behram Sharif, research team lead and an Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute post-doctoral fellow based at the University of Calgary, said. Continue reading