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This trial contacted 490 people who had problems with their hands and wrists as a result of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). They then either received usual care (between 1 and 3 sessions of advice with a hand therapist) or the SARAH exercise programme (6 sessions of supervised exercises with a hand therapist).

The SARAH (Strengthening And Stretching For Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand) trial contacted 490 people who had problems with their hands and wrists as a result of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). They then either received usual care (between 1 and 3 sessions of advice with a hand therapist) or the SARAH exercise programme (6 sessions of supervised exercises with a hand therapist). We are pleased to inform you that this trial was able to reach valuable conclusions about these different treatments.

The SARAH trial was looking at two approaches to treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) affecting the hands. It compared the provision of joint protection advice with joint protection advice in addition to an exercise programme for the hands and arms. All people who entered the trial received joint protection advice, with half of all people in the study also undertaking the exercise programme.

Trial Publications

The main results publications can be found here and here

Secondary publications can be found as follows:-

1: An Online Hand Exercise Intervention for Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis (mySARAH): Design, Development and Usability Testing (2018)

2: A Web-Based Training Resource for Therapists to Deliver an Evidence-Based Exercise Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH): Design, Development and Usability Testing (2017)

3: Hand Exercises for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Extended Follow-Up of the SARAH Randomised Controlled Trial (2017)

4: A longitudinal, qualitative study exploring sustained adherence to a hand exercise programme for rheumatoid arthritis evaluated in the SARAH trial (2017)

5: Mediating Effect of Changes in Hand Impairments on Hand Function in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exploring the Mechanisms of an Effective Exercise Program (2016)

6: Development and Delivery of an Exercise Intervention for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH) Trial (2012)

The study protocol publication can be found here.