The Osteoarthritis (OA) Therapeutic Education Program is located in Newmarket Ontario. This 6-week group education and exercise program focuses on symptom control and self-management for individuals with OA. The program is open to individuals of all ages with OA in any or multiple joints. The¬†program’s interprofessional team includes: a rheumatologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, dietician, pharmacist and a kinesiologist. There is a small fee required to access the program to cover the cost of a resource workbook.

The program requires a referral from a physician or nurse practitioner that includes a diagnosis of OA. Referrals may also come from the hospital emergency department. Questionnaires and surveys are used to better understand the participant’s functional ability (such as the WOMAC, HADS, mHAQ, and TUAG). These results are also used for evaluation purposes. Every session includes 3 hours of interactive group classroom education covering information from each practitioner from the interprofessional team. A previous OA program participant shares their experiences with the program. These educational sessions are offered over the Ontario Telehealth Network to remote sites across Ontario twice a year. Each weekly session includes 45 minutes of exercise, which includes all joints of the body to enhance range of motion and build strength. Participants can request one-on-one appointments with individual team members. Participants are invited to attend a recall class 6 months after completing the program to review their progress and program content. Questionnaires are completed before and after the program, and 6 after the program.

This program is linked with services provided by the Southlake Regional Health Centre, and has strong links with the Southlake Family Health Team. This program participates in a shared care model between orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists. The program is also linked with community exercise programs.

Click here for a downloadable program summary.

Visit www.southlakeregional.org for more information.