All posts related to "research"

JointHealth™ insight –Arthritis science: What’s new in the research zoo? #CRArthritis

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In Arthritis Consumer Experts’ (ACE) latest issue of JointHealth™ insight, we explore what “building bridges” – the theme to this year’s Canadian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Health Professions Association Annual Scientific Meeting – means to arthritis patients and health care providers. To help you, we have prepared a curated guide to a selection of #CRArthritis interviews, outlining key points covered during the event.

Among the topics of interest to patients, the interviews provide information on:

  • Building bridges between patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and allied health professionals
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Kids and arthritis
  • Working with arthritis
  • Targeted specific research
  • Medications
  • Mental health and arthritis
  • Hot topics from arthritis patient organizations
  • Models of arthritis care

All interviews can be accessed through YouTubeTwitter, and Facebook. To turn on French subtitles, please adjust the YouTube settings for each interview.

Simon Fraser University’s Pain Studies Lab is looking for research participants for a paid study on a mobile health application

You can participate if you are a person living with or a caregiver of someone living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. 

Research Objective
Pain Studies Lab at Simon Fraser University is seeking participants above 45 years old for a study on a mobile health application.

What do I have to do in the study?
The study will take about 2 hours to complete. You will be shown a mobile application meant to measure and track arthritis, and you will be asked questions about the usability of this application. There will also be an open-ended section to discuss your opinions about the application.

You will receive $40 as appreciation for your effort and time after completing the study.

How to participate?
To participate, you must be:

  • Above 45 years old;
  • The person or the caregiver of the person who has a diagnosis of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Using a smartphone in your daily life, such as using one or more Apps regularly;
  • Able to communicate in verbal and written English.

Interested? Have questions?
For more information or to book your appointment, please feel free to contact us:
Weina Jin
Telephone/text: 604-603-8530
Email: weinaj@sfu.ca

High-intensity interval walk training associated with decreased disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

A recent study has shown exciting new benefits associated with exercise for people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina found that 10 weeks of high-intensity interval walk training was associated with decreased disease activity and improved immune function for adults with RA. High-intensity interval walk training refers to a popular form of exercise that includes short bursts of fast-paced walking at maximum effort followed by less intense recovery periods.


The study included twelve physically inactive adults over the age of 55, with a confirmed diagnosis of RA. Participants completed a 10-week program consisting of 3x 30-minute sessions a week of supervised treadmill walking. This Included a 5-minute warm up and 5-minute cool down. Within the training session, participants walked at 80-90% of their maximum effort in intervals of 60 to 90 seconds. These high-intensity intervals were followed by recovery intervals at 50-60% maximum effort. Speed and interval times varied for each person based on a cardiorespitory fitness test, but none exceeded walking pace. 

Disease activity was assessed by a rheumatologist through a count of swollen and tender joints, perceived general health and blood tests to measure inflammation. Cardiovascular fitness and immune functions were assessed using a variety of clinical and laboratory tests, as well as standardized questionnaires. At the end of the 10 weeks, the following outcomes were observed:

  • RA disease activity reduced by 38%, with a significant decrease in swollen joints, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and improved self-perceived health. An ESR blood test measures the rate at which red blood cells settle in the period of one hour, revealing inflammatory activity in the body. 
  • Improved immune functions suggesting a reduced infection risk and inflammatory potential 
  • Cardiorespitory fitness increased by 9%
  • Resting blood pressure and heart rate both reduced 

 There is a substantial amount of research on exercise and rheumatoid arthritis, but few studies have reported the actual lowering of disease activity scores. As stated by the researchers, this study suggests that,

“High intensity interval walking could be an efficient, tolerable, and highly effective intervention to augment disease activity and improve overall health in patients with RA.”

There are certain limitations to the study such as the small sample size and no control group, but the findings will hopefully encourage more research in the area. In addition, these findings add to a growing body of research on the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis. To learn more about the study, click here.


To learn more about physical activity and arthritis visit the following pages:

Yoga & Arthritis

The most recent EULAR recommendations for pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) include physical activity and exercise as a part of a patient’s treatment plan. Physical activity has been shown to significantly ease joint pain and increase mobility, for this reason, exercise is increasingly being prescribed by physicians and other healthcare providers.

Some examples of well-known and effective exercises for people with arthritis include walking, biking and swimming. These are low-impact aerobic exercises, meaning they will generally be easier on the joints and cause your heart rate to increase. Are there other activities that could also benefit people living with arthritis, such as yoga?

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Arthritis Research Canada is exploring the health benefits of everyday activities and needs your participation!

Researchers are recruiting individuals with and without inflammatory arthritis for a study that will explore the health benefits of everyday activities. While the main goal of this study is to explore the relationship between everyday activities and health outcomes of those with inflammatory arthritis, we are also asking people without arthritis to participate in order to determine how the relationship between everyday activities and health differs between groups. The research is conducted by a PhD trainee who is affiliated with Arthritis Research Canada and the University of British Columbia.
Clock image with daily activities icon
You are eligible if you:

  • Have inflammatory arthritis (with no other major health conditions) OR do not have inflammatory arthritis and are generally healthy
  • Are 19 years of age or older
  • Do not currently smoke

What’s involved?
Participants will attend a two-hour group session in British Columbia to fill out health and activity questionnaires, and provide blood samples using a pinprick blood test (five blood spots). Participants will receive a monetary honorarium in appreciation for their time, as well as reimbursement for any parking or transit expenses.

Why do this research?
Other than physical activity, there is little evidence regarding the types of activities or occupations that support living well with inflammatory arthritis. We aim to study the health benefits of people’s everyday activities, with an emphasis on social and creative characteristics of activities, among adults with and without inflammatory arthritis.

Interested? Have questions?
Contact Flora To-Miles
604.364.6223
fto-miles@arthritisresearch.ca

Unproven Stem Cell Clinics in North America

Despite the lack of scientific proof, stem cell therapy is becoming increasingly popular, with dozens of clinics open across Canada and hundreds in the United States. These clinics are offering treatment for a wide range of diseases including asthma, multiple sclerosis, crohn’s, osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. A recent study found that Canadian businesses are making strong and unproven claims about the benefits of stem cell therapy. Advertisements intentionally use scientific language which can mislead consumers into thinking they are science-based therapies. While there are credible facilities that do stem cell transplants for conditions such as cancers of the blood, there isn’t sufficient research to support the safety and efficacy for treating other diseases such as osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. As stated by researcher Leigh Turner on CTV news, “you have a lot of companies and clinics setting up shop and there’s this pretty big gap between the marketing claims they make and the current state of stem cell research.”  A different article exploring the boom of stem cell clinics in America, found that advertisements use patient testimonial to appeal to consumers, which may just be a result of the placebo effect.

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A systematic review on the accuracy of Fitbit devices

Fitbit’s are wearable devices that individuals can use to track their daily physical activity and increase motivation to do physical activity. Fitbit devices offer real time data on various aspects of daily life including number of steps taken, energy expenditure, time spent asleep, and time spent in different levels of activity. Fitbit devices are becoming increasingly popular in the health-conscious consumer public; they are also being used more frequently in research as measurement tools and to inform healthcare decisions. But are they accurate?

A team of researchers at Arthritis Research Canada and the University of British Columbia, lead by Dr. Lynne Freehan, recently conducted a study to find out how accurate Fitbit devices are as measurement tools. Currently, several devices exist that have been identified as a “research standard” for activity tracking. In this review, researchers measured Fitbit’s accuracy by comparing the readings to that of the research-grade devices.

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Osteoarthritis, insomnia, and depression

Close up head shot of a woman sleepingOn World Suicide Prevention Day, learn more about the connection between osteoarthritis, insomnia, and depression. According to a recent study published in Arthritis Care & Research, pain, insomnia and depression were the main reasons for people living with osteoarthritis (OA) to schedule a visit with their doctor.

The study consisted of 2,976 people and half the participants had at least one of three symptoms: pain, insomnia, and depression. An estimated 34 percent of the patients studied experienced insomnia and 29 percent had depression, in addition to moderate to severe pain.

Dr. Minhui Liu is the lead author of the study and a research fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore. His team found that among patients with osteoarthritis, about 47 percent of them reported moderate to severe pain, 17 percent clinical insomnia, and 21 percent clinical depression. In addition, about 13 percent of participants experienced moderate to severe pain and clinical insomnia at the same time, and 13 percent experienced moderate to severe pain and clinical depression at the same time.  Continue reading

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

Participate 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. There will be an in-person education session which takes place in the Greater Vancouver Area.

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 Juliane Chien, study coordinator at 604-207-4032 or 1-844-707-4053 (toll free), or via email at opam.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

Participants needed for research in quality of care for hip and knee replacement rehabilitation

Have you had a hip or knee replacement in the last 4 months? Are you interested in being able to give feedback on the quality of rehabilitation care you received?

Picture of health care professional assessing hip and kneeYou are invited to take part in a study to pilot test a new questionnaire on the quality of rehabilitation care after joint replacement surgery.

Your feedback will help us to develop a patient-friendly questionnaire that will be included in an online toolkit of print and web-based resources that help people having joint replacement surgery participate in their own care and track the quality of rehab received.

You can participate if you:

  • Had a primary (first time) total hip or knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis (OA) in the past 4 months
  • Have almost finished or just finished your supervised rehabilitation
  • Are 19 years of age or older
  • Speak and read English
  • Are comfortable using a computer

What does participation involve?

  • Complete a series of short online questionnaires and “think aloud” so a researcher can note any questions or issues you experience
  • Share your views about the online questionnaires during a short (45-minute) small group discussion immediately afterwards. Group discussions are currently planned for:
    • Thursday, August 23rd 10-11: 30 am and 1-2: 30 pm
    • Thursday, August 30th 10-11: 30 am

For more information about this Study please contact:
Paul Drexler

Centre for Hip Health and Mobility
2635 Laurel Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-675-2578 or
E-mail: equip@hiphealth.ca

Honorarium, refreshments & parking provided!