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P071 Exploring experiences and preferences of people with rheumatoid arthritis for digital interventions to promote physical activity (PA)

Gerlis, Charlotte; Berry, Alice; Halls, Serena; Loizou, Michael; Swales, Caroline; Cramp, Fiona


Charlotte Gerlis

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Dr Alice Berry
Associate Professor of Rehabilitation

Serena Halls

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Dr Michael Loizou
Wallscourt Associate Professor in Health Technology and Life Sciences

Caroline Swales

Fiona Cramp
Professor in Long Term Conditions


Background/Aims Physical activity (PA) is effective for managing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but people with RA are less active than their healthy counterparts. A digital intervention (DI) to promote PA, is a potential solution. There is a paucity of literature available exploring the requirements of people with RA for a digital intervention. It is important to explore experiences and preferences before developing such an intervention. Aims: 1. Identify digital technology currently used by people with RA to support PA. 2. Understand the preferences and acceptability of people with RA for potential DI delivery. Methods A survey was developed to address these aims. A patient research partner (CS) and ‘think aloud’ pilots contributed to development. The survey was circulated once to members of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society in November 2022. This study was approved by the National Health Service Research Ethics Committee (reference 22/NE/0158). Results 1178 people consented to take part (86% female, 64% aged 55-74). The majority used digital technology every day (97%). 84% anticipated using a potential DI to support PA, most preferably every day (48%) or 2-3 times a week (14%). 16% never anticipated using DI to support PA. 34% reported currently using technology to support PA; mostly an app without healthcare professional (HCP) interaction (42%) or internet videos (40%). A further 27% had tried technology to support PA but discontinued, and 39% had never tried. An app was the most preferable delivery platform (56%), followed by a website (43%) or internet videos (28%). 51% would prefer to be offered or signposted to digital technology to support PA by an exercise professional with specific rheumatology training or a healthcare professional (22%). Potential DI delivery methods were rated on a Likert scale of 1-5 for general acceptability, a score of five indicating highest acceptability: automated response mean[SD] 3.6[0.9], ad-hoc HCP interaction 3.5[0.8] pre-arranged HCP interaction 3.4[1] and no interaction 3.1[1]. Conclusion People with RA are using digital technology regularly and many anticipated using a DI to support PA. Despite this, only a third are currently using digital technology to support PA. An app or website platform was the preferred delivery method suggesting that an internet delivered intervention is acceptable. Acceptability ratings of DI delivery methods were similar. Further sub-group analysis and exploration of free text responses is planned to inform tailoring of DI delivery. Disclosure C. Gerlis: None. A. Berry: None. S. Halls: None. M. Loizou: None. C. Swales: None. F. Cramp: None.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2023
Online Publication Date Apr 24, 2024
Publication Date Apr 24, 2024
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 25, 2025
Journal Rheumatology
Print ISSN 1462-0324
Electronic ISSN 1462-0332
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 63
Issue Supplement_1
Article Number keae163.112
Public URL