12 March 2018

An exercise class with a difference Emma Busby, Integrated Physiotherapy Orthopaedic & Pain Service (IPOPS), Lichfield

Emma discusses how her team has been using NICE guidance to help people with osteoarthritis.



Circuit training may be associated with rugby players or boxers but we took NICE recommendations on exercise for osteoarthritis and applied it to our class of older people.

The NICE guidance on ‘Osteoarthritis in adults’ says exercise classes and strength training can help to improve mobility and independence in people with osteoarthritis. So, our group selected appropriate exercises for use in our group classes and asked patients which they preferred.  

The exercises are completed in a circuit and we can grade the intensity, so that each session can be tailored to the person’s ability and fitness. The class is helping us to build our patients’ strength and fitness, so that they can better manage their condition and stay living independently for longer.

This work led to the creation of our osteoarthritis self-management and independent living support (OASIS) group which is loved by our patients and has provided inspiration for other similar classes elsewhere

It has been a huge success and was even shortlisted for the NICE 2017 Shared Learning Awards.

The NICE Shared Learning Awards gave us a national platform to showcase OASIS, giving us the opportunity to reach a new audience. People have contacted us wanting to know more and we are happy to share our findings.

We’ve also been asked to speak at the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s conference and have had the opportunity to present a poster at Physio UK. It’s exciting the see that our local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) has adapted some of the OASIS model as part of their treatment of OA.

None of this would have been possible if we hadn’t taken the NICE guidelines and used them as the backbone for our OASIS programme. It’s definitely worth taking a look at guidance that is relevant for your profession. It’s a handy guide that can make a real difference!

This year NICE is supporting the ‘NICE Into Action’ Award at the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s Conference on 20th June 2018. Physiotherapists like Emma – or representatives of any allied health profession – who have used NICE guidance in their practice, can nominate themselves or their team for the awards. Closing date for nominations is 29thMarch 2018. Nominations of a high standard will also be published in the NICE Shared Learning Collection.

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