Resource

Arthritis resources for health professionals

Health professional resource page changes upcoming

March 2024 - These resources have recently been updated and continued changes are expected. If you have feedback on these resources please reach out to us at mpap@vch.ca

In an effort to support exemplary care for people with arthritis in British Columbia, the Mary Pack Arthritis Program (MPAP) provides resources for physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, physicians and other health professionals supporting people with arthritis.

Arthritis Continuing Education (ACE) Program

The Mary Pack Arthritis Program's Arthritis Continuing Education (ACE) Program membership is available to physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses in British Columbia who have an interest in rheumatic diseases and/or work with people who live with arthritis. ACE members have access to the ACE Clinical Link Newsletter, ACE Clinical Exchange, Clinical Consultation, professional resources, ACE Directory and MPAP Reach Day. 

Becoming an ACE member

If you have general questions about the ACE program or would like to become a member, call (604) 875-4111 ext. 68834.

Courses we offer

As part of our program’s strategic plan to re-imagine the ACE course and how we support arthritis professional education, we will not be offering the four-day hybrid course in 2024. We regret any inconvenience this causes. We look forward to offering our updated course in 2025!

Other arthritis continuing education:

ACE Clinical Link Newsletter

Published two to three times a year, this newsletter provides news, clinical tips, and resources on varied arthritis topics. 2024 is coming this Spring!

See previous newsletters: 

ACE Clinical Exchange 

The ACE Clinical Exchange is offered as a  Zoom meeting and will be recorded. Join our experienced clinicians as they share an article and discuss its application in clinical practice across disciplines.

Clinical Exchange Recordings

2023

  • Dynamic stability training for 1st CMC OA (link coming soon)

Clinical Consultation 

Available to ACE Members, clinicians at MPAP provide virtual consultation and advice relating to the management of your patients with arthritis.

  • For occupational therapy consultation: (604) 875-4111 ext. 68819
  • For physical therapy consultation: (604) 875-4111 ext. 68834/68830
  • For nursing consultation: (604) 875-4111 ext. 69218

Professional Resources 

Educational materials are available, such as patient handouts, educational videos, as well as treatment approaches used at the Mary Pack Arthritis Program.

ACE Directory

We maintain a directory of clinicians who provide arthritis care organized by discipline and health authority. Contact your discipline educator as noted above to find a provider in your community or to be added to the list.

MPAP REACH Day 

TBD in 2024. A day of presentations held annually in Vancouver in the Fall. A limited number of spots made available to local ACE members to attend in person. 

Resources for Physical Therapists (PTs)

    • Patient History Form

    • Physiotherapy Hip Assessment

    • Physiotherapy Knee Assessment

    • MPAP Spondyloarthritis Assessment Form

    • Intensive Collaborative Arthritis Program (ICAP) (multidisciplinary tool)

    • Standardized joint count

    • Spondyloarthritis (SpA) Spinal Assessment video

      This 8-minute video, created by staff members at the Mary Pack Arthritis Program, will demonstrate 8 spinal measurements for a SpA patient with inflammatory back pain. The SpA Assessment Form is located in the Assessment Tool section. Based on your assessment, exercises are found in the SpA Exercise Program booklet in the Treatment Approaches section.

    • Spondyloarthritis Video Spinal Measurement References

    • Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis – Disease Activity Index

    • Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI)

    • Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient Global Score (BAS-G)

    • Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ-DI)

    • Additional guidance on Bath AS Indices

    • RMAQ (Readiness to Manage Arthritis Questionnaire)

    • Total Joint Arthroplasty and Outcome Measures (TJAOM) Toolkit

      The purpose of the toolkit is to provide clinicians with outcome measures appropriate for use along the continuum of care for patients before and after total joint arthroplasty.

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Ulnar Drift Deformity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Boutonniere Deformity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Swan Neck Deformity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Flexor Tenosynovitis in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Spondylitis Exercise Program

    • Hand and Wrist Exercises

    • Inflammatory Arthritis and Your Hands

    • Preventing & Managing Osteoporosis

    • Managing Arthritis Pain

    • Osteoarthritis and Your Hands

Resources for Occupational Therapists (OTs)

    • Occupational Therapy Assessment Guidelines

    • Occupational Therapy Initial Assessment

    • Occupational Therapy Foot Assessment

    • Occupational Therapy Hand Assessment

    • RMAQ (Readiness to Manage Arthritis Questionnaire)

    • Assessment of the Foot with Inflammatory Arthritis

      This 10-minute video, created by staff members at the Mary Pack Arthritis Program, focuses on two important components of a foot assessment. In the first section, each joint is assessed for the presence of active inflammation. Next, the biomechanical structure of the foot is examined, to determine if there is an underlying anomaly that could contribute to foot dysfunction

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Boutonniere Deformity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Flexor Tenosynovitis in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Swan Neck Deformity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Best Practice Recommendations for Management of Ulnar Drift Deformity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Hand Resting Splint Protocol

    • Making Plaster Hand Casts

    • Making the Leather Wrist Working Splint

    • Making the Polyethylene Working Splint

    • Wrist Working Splints

    • Managing Arthritis Pain

    • Inflammatory Arthritis and Your Hands

    • Osteoarthritis and Your Hands

    • Osteoarthritis and Your Thumbs

    • C1-C2 Sublaxation and Arthritis

    • Joint Protection for Arms

    • Joint Protection for Hips and Knees

    • Joint Protection for Legs

    • Joint Protection for Shoulders

    • Managing Activities Arms and Hands

    • Managing Activities Legs and Feet

    • Wear and care - collars

    • How to Wear and Care for Your Foot Orthoses

    • How to Wear and Care for Your Resting Hand Splint

    • How to Wear and Care for Your Thermoplastic Splint

    • How to Wear and Care for Your Wrist Working Splint

Resources for Physicians and Nurses

Medical guidelines and protocols

In B.C., medical guidelines and protocols are developed under the direction of the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee (GPAC), jointly sponsored by the B.C. Medical Association and the Ministry of Health. Find these guidelines on the Ministry of Health website.

Guidelines of interest for practitioners working with patients with arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis in Peripheral Joints – Diagnosis and Treatment (currently not available on Ministry of Health website)
  • Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Testing for Connective Tissue Disease
  • Bone Density Measurement in Women
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Diagnosis and Management
    • Roles of Allied Health Care Providers in Rheumatology

    • Intensive Collaborative Arthritis Program (ICAP) Assessment Form

      ICAP Assessment Form (Interdisciplinary tool)

    • ICAP RMAQ

      ICAP RMAQ (Readiness to Manage Arthritis Questionnaire)

    • Drug Monitoring - Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)

    • Allied Health Care Providers in Rheumatology

    • My Health Care Team

    • Guide to Understanding Laboratory Tests

    • Weekly Health Journal

      My Health Diary

    • Preventing & Managing Osteoporosis

    • Tips for Improving Your Sleep

    • Treating Your Jaw

Online resources for health professionals

    • Arthritis ID Pro

      Available in both French and English, Arthritis ID Pro is the most comprehensive free arthritis app for healthcare professionals, featuring the most current, evidence-based arthritis information to help detect, treat and manage arthritis. (FREE)

    • EULAR Outcome Measures Library

      This website provides a comprehensive database of validated patient-reported instruments (indices, questionnaires, scales, or others) used in rheumatology. The database can be searched by language, disease, or domain (e.g., satisfaction, fatigue, sleep, work, anxiety and depression, etc.).

    • OARSI Performance Measures for Hip and Knee OA

      OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) developed this core set of recommended performance-based tests of physical function for older individuals (> 40 years) diagnosed with hip and/or knee OA, including end-stage disease or following joint replacement.

    • Orthopaedic Scores

      This free information and calculation service allows users to anonymously complete validated clinician and patient self-report orthopaedic measures online. Following completion the website calculates the final score, which can then be printed for one’s record or saved as a CVS file. Joint-specific measures are available for the knee (ACL), foot/ankle, wrist, hand, lumbar spine, cervical spine, hip, knee (OA) shoulder (instability and non-instability), and elbow. There is also a single psychological measure.

    • Rehabilitation Measures Database

      The Rehabilitation Measures Database was developed to help clinicians and researchers identify reliable and valid instruments used to assess patient outcomes during all phases of rehabilitation.

    • Total Joint Arthroplasty and Outcome Measures Toolkit

      The TJAOM toolkit provides clinicians with information on how to select, use and interpret outcome measures appropriate for use along the continuum of care for patients before and after total joint arthroplasty.

    • Mobile Measures (App)

      An App developed for clinicians to select, administer, calculate scores and interpret functional performance and self-report measures at point of care. (Paid subscription required).

    • Osteoarthritis Service Integration System (OASIS)

      OASIS is a Vancouver Coastal Health Program that provides online and in-person education to support people with osteoarthritis. The OASIS website provides information about their classes and a schedule of upcoming sessions.

    • Vancouver Coastal Health Patient Health Education Materials (PHEM)

      Vancouver Coastal Health has an online resource library with excellent educational materials for arthritis.

    • RheumInfo

      This Canadian website provides information and resources for health professionals and patients on rheumatic diseases, medications, common lab tests, assessment and screening tools and tips on how to live the best life possible with arthritis.

    • RheumTutor

      RheumTutor.com was developed by Dr. Raj Carmona, rheumatologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at McMaster University in 2012. Included on this site is a series of videos illustrating the proper way to conduct examinations of the hip, elbow, ankle and foot, hand and wrist, knee, shoulder, and back. Ideal for medical students, residents, rheumatology fellows and allied health professionals.

    • Osteoarthritis Tool (Arthritis Alliance of Canada/Centre for Effective Practice)

      The Osteoarthritis (OA) Tool was developed for primary care providers who are managing patients with new or recurrent joint pain consistent with OA in the hip, knee or hand.

    • Rheumatoid Arthritis for Physiotherapists eLearning (RAPeL)

      RAP-eL is a series of online modules designed for physiotherapists anywhere in the world who want to improve their disease knowledge and clinical practice skills to optimally manage people with rheumatoid arthritis. Good resource for other health professionals who treat patients with RA.

    • OA Management Programmes (OAMPs)

      This repository was developed in response to COVID-19 and provides solutions for healthcare professionals seeking to access and signpost patients with OA to remote, high-quality programmes that do not require face to face contact. It also provides healthcare practitioner resources for online training in delivering OA management programmes.

    • EULAR School of Rheumatology

      Provides a range of online and in-person courses for allied health professionals and rheumatologists. The EULAR Online Course for Health Professionals is aimed at health professionals in rheumatology and consists of a 8 modules covering common rheumatic diseases, assessment, interventions and psychosocial approaches to management. Takes approx. 9 months to complete. (Requires registration and course fee)

    • Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)

      The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) provides decision-makers with the evidence, advice and recommendations they need to make informed decisions in health care.

    • Canadian Best Practices Portal

      This Portal provides a consolidated one-stop shop for busy health professionals and public health decision-makers. It is a compilation of multiple sources of trusted and credible information. The Portal links to resources and solutions to plan programs for promoting health and preventing diseases for patients populations and communities.

    • Exercise is Medicine: Professional Resources

      Exercise is Medicine® Canada (EIMC) is a movement to make Canadians healthier. Launched in 2007 by the American College of Sports Medicine, EIMC is based on abundant evidence that physical activity and exercise reduce the risk of chronic disease.

    • Medication Administration Quick Guides

      Developed by the Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP), the medication administration quick guides provide basic information about common rheumatology infusion medications. The information has been obtained from the manufacturer’s Full Prescribing Information document for each agent. All quick guides are freely available to any healthcare professional.

    • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

      The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health. The NCCIH conducts and supports research and provides information about complementary health products and practices.

    • National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

      The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.

    • Arthritis Health Professions Association

      The Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) is a Canadian society of health professionals who work in the field of rheumatology. Its members come from a variety of clinical and administrative settings, such as hospitals, clinics, community programs and universities. AHPA is dedicated to improving health care standards for people with rheumatic diseases through the promotion of education and support of research among its members.

    • Canadian Rheumatology Association

      The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) is the national professional association for Canadian rheumatologists. They provide guidelines, resources and education to their members. Together with the AHPA, they host an annual meeting highlighting research and education for rheumatology professionals across Canada.

    • American College of Rheumatology / Association of Rheumatology Professionals

      The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) provides in-person and online programs of education, research, advocacy, and practice support. The Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP), a division of the College, is a professional society with members representing clinical care (advanced practice nurses, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers), research, education and administration.

    • Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)

      OARSI is the leading medical society for advancing the understanding, early detection, treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis (OA) through its exclusive dedication to research. Resources include both patient and health provider versions of guidelines for the non-surgical management of knee, hip and polyarticular osteoarthritis.

Online resources for consumers and professionals

    • Arthritis ID

      ArthritisID is the most comprehensive free arthritis app for consumers, featuring the most current, evidence-based arthritis information to help detect, treat and manage arthritis.

    • Health Apps: A toolkit to help you

      Health Apps—a Toolkit to Help You takes a comprehensive approach to helping people find and use tried-and-tested health apps. It walks the reader through each step of a journey towards getting started with health apps. The Toolkit identifies the main pitfalls with health apps, and educates on how to overcome these problems.

    • My Opioid Manager

      My Opioid Manager was developed at Toronto Rehab to help people with chronic, non-cancer pain, such as osteoarthritis, understand uses of opioids and the side effects and risks; track their pain and opioid use; and easily share information about their chronic pain with their healthcare team.

    • Track and React

      Track and React is a free app created by the Arthritis Foundation that allows people with arthritis to monitor daily activities and symptoms so as to better discover how changes in sleep, nutrition, exercises, mood, and medication adherence may be impacting the symptoms of one’s disease. The app also includes a goal-setting function. Track and Reach is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire.

    • Arthritis Society (Canada)

      The Arthritis Society is a Canadian organization that provides leadership and funding for research, advocacy and solutions to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by arthritis.

    • Arthritis Society (Canada) - Flourish

      The Arthritis Society offers many useful resources such a series of web information topics called “Flourish.”

    • Arthritis Foundation (United States)

      The Arthritis Foundation is an American-based organization that provides access to information and resources that can be helpful in managing arthritis. For example, the Track & React app listed above was created by The Arthritis Foundation.

    • Arthritis Australia

      The site has several useful booklets that can be freely downloaded. Some of these include 10 steps for living well with arthritis, Back pain, At home with arthritis – simple steps for managing in the home and Stepping out – a guide for young adults with arthritis.

    • Arthritis Research UK (United Kingdom)

      This non-profit organization provides a wealth of education for people with arthritis and health care professionals. As well as the usual disease and medication information that is on many websites, this site also has a large section on arthritis and daily life that includes material on sleep and arthritis, sex and arthritis, pregnancy and arthritis, and many other topics.

    • Health Talk Online (United Kingdom)

      Healthtalk.org provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people’s real-life experiences. You can watch people sharing their stories about rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoporosis, arthritis in young people, depression and much more.

    • PubMed Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine

      PubMed Health provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions. PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports.

    • RheumInfo.com

      RheumInfo.com provides accurate and reliable information on arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as the medications that treat them. For people with arthritis their is disease information, management strategies, and information on medications and their proper use.

    • Self-Management BC

      Persons with chronic health conditions and family members can participate in a variety of self-management programs offered by Self-Management BC in communities throughout BC at no cost. These programs provide information, teach practical skills and give people the confidence to manage their health condition(s).

    • National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)

      NASS is a UK-based non-profit organization specifically geared to the needs of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Education pages on the site are organized according to general information, getting a diagnosis, just diagnosed, and living well with AS.

    • Spondylitis Association of America

      The Spondylitis Association of America was founded in 1983 by people affected with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). It was the first and remains the largest resource in the United States for people seeking information on AS and related diseases.

    • FibroGuide

      FibroGuide is an online education program for people with Fibromyalgia. This self-paced program consists of 10 modules with information and worksheets on the following topics: Understanding Fibromyalgia, Communicating, Being Active, Sleep, Relaxation, What is Fibro Fog? Setting Goals, Pacing Yourself, Thinking Differently, and Time for You.

Additional online resources for consumers and professionals

    • CreakyJoints

      CreakyJoints is a website by and for people with all forms of arthritis. The website provides meaningful support, updates (e.g., message board, newsletter), education (e.g., chronic pain and sleep), innovative advocacy and global research projects.

    • JointHealth

      Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is a national organization that provides science-based information, education and support programs in both official languages to people with arthritis. ACE serves consumers living with all forms of arthritis by helping them take control of their disease and improve their quality of life.

    • Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

      The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation raises money through public donations and invests those funds in programs to advance orthopaedic research, promote patient and public education, and improve community care.

    • footEducation.com

      footEducation.com was created by orthopaedic surgeons to provide patients and medical providers with current and accurate information on foot and ankle conditions and their treatments.

Terms of use and disclaimer

Terms of use

The material on these professional resources pages have been developed by and for staff at the Mary Pack Arthritis Program of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) for the treatment of our client population and is provided, for information only. Evidence and practice may have evolved since the time of posting. Readers should review this material in the context of current evidence and their own situation. The Mary Pack Arthritis Program of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority does not warrant that material is current or applicable in any other setting. All content provided is for information and education and not as a substitute for the advice of a therapist or clinician.

Disclaimer

You are welcome to use these VCH publications for non-commercial purposes, but you do so entirely at your own risk. The publications are provided “as-is”—VCH cannot and does not promise that its publications are accurate, complete or error-free, and will not accept any liability to you or any third party relating to or arising out of the publications.  VCH will not notify you if VCH discovers an error in, or otherwise changes, its publications.