• University of Exeter

The GRASP Best Practice Advice and Exercise Programme for Shoulder Pain

Learn about advice and exercise to support your patients with rotator cuff related shoulder pain.

895 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Discover how to use the GRASP best practice advice and exercise programme

Rotator cuff-related shoulder pain is a common condition that causes impaired function. Regular exercise and advice play a crucial role in improving and managing pain and the ability to perform day-to-day activities.

The GRASP randomised controlled clinical trial conducted at the University of Oxford showed that a single GRASP best practice advice session with a physiotherapist (the GRASP programme) was likely to be cost-effective. In terms of clinical outcomes, there was no evidence of a difference when compared with a physiotherapy intervention of up to six face-to-face sessions.

On this two-week GRASP course, you’ll gain expert insights from health professionals and researchers and become empowered to implement the GRASP programme in your own clinical practice.

Clinicians and researchers from the GRASP trial will guide you step-by-step through the GRASP programme.

With this knowledge, you’ll have the ability to use the programme and minimise your patients’ pain through advice and exercise.

Implement the GRASP programme in your own clinical practice

You’ll explore self-management advice and behaviour-change strategies to empower your patients with the tools to manage pain and exercise regularly.

Learn from the GRASP trial team from the University of Oxford and the University of Exeter

You’ll learn from a multidisciplinary team of physiotherapists, clinical academics, researchers, and CBT practitioners.

With the expertise of these health professionals and researchers, you’ll be empowered to implement the GRASP programme in your own practice to improve the lives of your patients.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to the course

    • Welcome!

      An introduction to the course and course team.

    • Rotator cuff disorders

      This covers the clinical aspects of rotator cuff disorders

    • The GRASP clinical trial

      Introducing the GRASP trial and its key findings

    • The GRASP programme

      This covers the development and elements of the GRASP programme.

    • Getting started to deliver the GRASP programme

      This covers an overview of delivering the GRASP programme including the routine initial assessment.

    • Week 1 summary

      What have you learnt in Week 1 and a short self-evaluation to refresh your learning about the GRASP programme in practice and an opportunity to share your thoughts with fellow learners.

  • Week 2

    Delivering the GRASP programme to your patients

    • Providing patient advice

      In this activity, we will see the various components of patient advice provided in the GRASP programme such as beliefs about shoulder pain, activity and pain and fear-avoidance behaviour.

    • Providing the GRASP patient advice booklet

      In this activity, we will briefly introduce the GRASP patient advice booklet.

    • Prescribing the GRASP exercises

      In this activity, we will discuss about the exercise component of the GRASP programme.

    • Promoting exercise adherence

      In this activity, we will explain how to use action planning and goal setting as behavioural strategies to encourage patients' adherence to the GRASP exercises and facilitate self-management.

    • Providing discharge advice

      In this activity, we will discuss about providing discharge advice to your patients.

    • Week 2 summary

      Here we consider what have you learnt in Week 2, There is a short self-evaluation to refresh your learning on how to apply the GRASP programme and an opportunity to reflect on your own confidence using this in clinical practice.

Learning on this course

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...

  • Describe the impact of shoulder pain due to rotator cuff disorders
  • Summarise how GRASP Best Practice Advice and Exercise Programme (GRASP programme) was developed
  • Apply the GRASP programme to adults with a new episode of shoulder pain (i.e., within the last 6 months) attributable to a rotator cuff disorder
  • Use behavioural support strategies to help patients exercise regularly
  • Reflect on implementing the GRASP programme and behavioural support strategies in your clinical practice

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for all healthcare professionals who treat people with rotator cuff disorders.

Who will you learn with?

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter and a physiotherapist. I developed the Best Practice Advice intervention for the GRASP trial with clinical experts from around the UK

I am a Senior Researcher in Physiotherapy at the University of Oxford. I am also a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and a Visiting Lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University.

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.

Endorsers and supporters

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Learning on FutureLearn

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