• University of Exeter

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exercises for Hands

This course for healthcare professionals introduces Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH).

391 enrolled on this course

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exercises for Hands

Explore the impact of rheumatoid arthritis and how SARAH can help patients

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term joint disease and often involves the small joints of the hands and wrists. Hand exercises play an important role in improving the ability to do day-to-day activities.

On this course, you’ll learn about an evidence-based hand and arm exercise programme called Strengthening and Stretching for the Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH), and how you can successfully implement it as a healthcare professional.

Discover how to apply the SARAH programme to treat rheumatoid arthritis in your clinical setting

The SARAH programme was shown to improve hand function and quality of life in a large UK based clinical trial. It is recommended in the national treatment guidelines for adults with rheumatoid arthritis (NICE guidelines NG 100).

On the course, you’ll get an introduction on how rheumatoid arthritis affects hand function, explore how the SARAH programme was developed, and understand how you can apply it in your clinical setting.

Identify how to use the SARAH programme in your practice

You’ll also discover how to use and teach behavioural support strategies to your patients.

You’ll study alongside multidisciplinary experts who are dedicated to using exercise and physiotherapy to help care for people with long-term musculoskeletal conditions.

At the end of this two-week course, you’ll come away confidently able to deliver the SARAH programme in your clinical practice.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Introduction to the SARAH (Strengthening And Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand) clinical trial
  • Components of the SARAH programme
  • Delivering the SARAH programme in clinical practice

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the impact of rheumatoid arthritis on hand function
  • Summarise how the SARAH programme was developed
  • Apply the SARAH programme in your clinical setting
  • Demonstrate behavioural support strategies to patients
  • Reflect on implementing the SARAH exercises and behavioural support strategies in your clinical practice

Who is the course for?

This course is for all healthcare professionals who treat people having hand function problems due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Who will you learn with?

Esther is a physiotherapist and researcher at the University of Oxford. She is Deputy-Director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Research.

I am a physiotherapy researcher at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford.

Mireille Gillings Professor of Health Innovation at the University of Exeter.
I conduct large scale clinical trials and like to disseminate the findings to healthcare professionals via Futurelearn

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.


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