Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA:D®) is an initiative from the Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy at the University of Southern Denmark. The programme began in Denmark in 2013.
The overall aim of GLA:D®
- Equal access for all osteoarthritis patients to evidence-based patient education and exercise irrespective of place of residence and financial situation.
- Surgery is indicated only when nonoperative treatment fails.
GLA:D® represents an evidence-based treatment plan for osteoarthritis consisting of patient education and neuromuscular exercise with the overall aim of implementing current clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis into clinical care.
Three mandatory elements of GLA:D®
- Education of physical therapists in delivering patient education and neuromuscular exercise training
- Two sessions of patient education and a minimum of 6 weeks of neuromuscular exercise for patients at the individual GLA:D® units
- Registration of patient data in the national GLA:D®
The GLA:D® International Network (GIN) was established in 2018, following successful implementation of the Danish-initiated programme in Canada, Australia, China and Switzerland. The number of countries involved continues to grow.
The GLA:D® Programme is effective at:
- reducing pain
- reducing use of analgesics
- improving physical function
- increasing physical activity levels
- increasing quality of life
Given the huge success of standardised, yet individualised, group exercise and education programme for hip and knee osteoarthritis, the GLA:D® Denmark team are preparing a similar Program for an equally important and common musculoskeletal condition – low back pain.