Empowering active self-management of arthritis: Raising the bar with OPERAS (an On-demand Program to EmpoweR Active Self-management)


Participants Needed!

We will research an online intervention app called OPERAS (On-demand Program to EmpoweR Active Self-management) in community settings, in order to address a much needed but under-researched area in the current care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), namely active self-management.  This project builds on a decade-long partnership between researchers, patients and clinicians to improve the health of people with RA. The research will address the following: Can an online program, combining symptom/disease activity monitoring and physical activity counselling by a physiotherapist (PT) improve self-management ability in people with RA?


The Program involves:

After a baseline assessment, we will randomly assign participants to receive the program immediately or in 6 months. All will receive:

  • an orientation to the OPERAS web app
  • an education session about physical activity and
  • a Fitbit Flex, which links to the app.

During their enrollment, participants will receive follow-ups from their study PT as well as follow-up assessments at baseline, six and twelve months.

The research is done under the guidance of patient collaborators including two patient leads, as well as ten core health and data scientists at ARC, UBC and SFU.  The group is partnering with a Canadian health tech company, Tactica, based out of Manitoba to build the online program. The study will be aiming to recruit 134 people with RA who live in the Greater Vancouver Area, and who have daily access to the internet.

For more information, please click here


Funded by The Arthritis Society


Principal Investigator: 

Dr. Linda Li


Diane Lacaille, Arthritis Research Canada

Teresa Liu-Ambrose, University of British Columbia

Catherine Backman, University of British Columbia;

Chris Shaw, Simon Fraser University

John Esdaile, Arthritis Research Canada

Rob Petrella, Western University

Lynne Feehan, University of British Columbia

Paul Adam, Mary Pack Arthritis Program

Kimberly Miller, Simon Fraser University


Charles Goldsmith, Simon Fraser University

Alison Hoens, BC Support Unit

Cheryl Koehn, President, Arthritis Consumer Experts

Technology Partner:

Tactica Interactive

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