ENACT Researchers to Present at This Weekend’s American Physical Therapy Association-Massachusetts Chapter Annual Meeting
ENACT Director Julie Keysor, PhD, PT, researcher Jessica Maxwell, PhD, DPT, OCS,
This training program seeks to enhance the ability of persons with arthritis to obtain the benefits of exercise by co-sponsoring with the Arthritis Foundation, Massachusetts Chapter and funding the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP).
An enthusiastic group of students recently completed a new exercise training workshop that specializes in training patients with arthritis. Completion and implementation of this program is a big step in helping those with arthritis gain lost mobility.
On March 26, 2011, the Center for Enhancing Activity and Participation among persons with Arthritis (ENACT) and the Arthritis Foundation of Massachusetts co-sponsored an exercise instructor training program at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Wendy Moore, veteran educator with the Arthritis Foundation and mother to a daughter with arthritis, led the program. Eleven participants, who typically have either an exercise or physical therapy background, completed the training program.
The training program included instructions about how to adapt exercises for people with arthritis. Trainees also developed a lesson plan for an arthritis exercise class. The participants are now in line to becoming certified instructors who can lead exercise classes for the Arthritis Foundation.
Trainees from this program made a commitment to organizing exercise program for people with arthritis. Laura Furey, BU physical therapy doctoral student, stated, “I will be using the training as part of my Physical Therapy Practicum Project, which is to promote exercise initiation among individuals with osteoarthritis.” Another BU physical therapy doctoral student, Stefanie Howlett, is “really excited to implement this program” and is “particularly interested in exercise adherence among people with arthritis.”
The Arthritis Foundation’s eight week exercise programs can have a huge and positive impact on patients with arthritis. Moore describes these programs as an “eye opener to see how simple activity can change the ability of participants.” The exercise programs are designed with gentle movements that help increase joint flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. Benefits from these programs include increased functional ability and self-care as well as decreased pain and depression. According to Moore, “participants who complete eight weeks of classes are better able to do the things they want with less pain.”