Effectiveness of Online Physical Activity Monitoring in Inflammatory Arthritis (OPAM-IA): A new model of care


The study is now closed for recruitment.


Being physically active has been shown to reduce pain and fatigue, improve mobility and enhance quality of life in people with arthritis, but many people with arthritis are not physically active.

In this study, we will test if a new physical activity program can help improve activity levels in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The program involves:


  1. A group education session on physical activity
  2. The use of Fitbit Flex with a new web application called FitViz
  3. Online/telephone counselling by a registered physiotherapist using FitViz


We recruited 113 participants with RA or SLE in British Columbia. Eligible participants were randomly assigned to either start the program immediately or wait 2 months.

Participants were also asked to complete assessments at the beginning, and at the end of 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of the study. These assessments included an online questionnaire, and wearing another armband accelerometer for 7 days. At the end of the study, participants were invited to take part in a phone interview about their opinion of the program.


Scientific papers published about this study include:

2014-03-17_1630_PaperA technology-enabled counselling program versus a delayed treatment control to support physical activity participation in people with inflammatory arthritis: study protocol for the OPAM-IA randomized controlled trial. Li LC, Feehan L, Shaw C, Xie H, Sayre E, Avina-Zubieta JA, Grewal N, Townsend AF, Gromala D, Noonan G, Backman CL. BMC Rheumatology. November 2017;1:6.



Principal Investigator
Dr. Linda Li

Lynne Feehan, Fraser Health
Antonio Aviña-Zubeita, University of British Columbia
Anne Townsend, University of British Columbia
Catherine Backman, University of British Columbia
Hui Xie, Simon Fraser University
Diane Gromala, Simon Fraser University
Chris Shaw, Simon Fraser University

Greg Noonan, Mary Pack Arthritis Program
Paul Adam, Mary Pack Arthritis Program
Dr. Leigh Callahan, Thurston Arthritis Research Center

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