LIFT Trial

Remotely delivered cognitive behavioural and personalised exercise interventions show benefits for those with inflammatory rheumatic disease.

The Versus Arthritis funded LIFT study, a trial comparing telephone delivered cognitive behavioural and personalised exercise interventions against usual care recently published positive results described in Transforming fatigue services for people with inflammatory arthritis.

With fatigue a hugely important and widespread symptom for those with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, the researchers wanted to test whether pragmatic interventions could be delivered by non-specialist members of the multidisciplinary team in the rheumatology clinic.   

With the study reporting significantly improved fatigue and retained benefits 6 months after completion of the interventions, the team hope the approaches can be translated into routine care. Professor Neil Basu from the University of Glasgow said: “Our study is unique in that it looks at the whole breadth of inflammatory rheumatic diseases and as such is more aligned with the demands that would be put on a rheumatology service. Moreover, it provides new evidence that some non-pharmacological interventions can be successfully and effectively delivered by non-specialist members of the clinical service.”

Versus Arthritis hope to fund well designed clinical research studies such as LIFT, that produce evidence that can be translated rapidly to the clinic for maximum impact upon patient care. The researchers themselves now hope that by providing an evidence-based programme that has been effective in practice across several sites, that other departments will also be able to implement the developed approaches.    

Commenting on LIFT, Dr Neha Issar-Brown, Director of Research and Health Intelligence at Versus Arthritis, said: “The LIFT study’s implementation across the health service would give people with inflammatory arthritis and related conditions access to the support they need to manage fatigue while producing long lasting improvements to their mental health.”

More information

Should you want to implement the approaches developed in LIFT, the intervention manuals are openly available on the study website: LIFT background and study materials

To read the full academic results of the LIFT trial, please see the LIFT results in the Lancet Rheumatology and for an analysis of patient experiences see the LIFT qualitative paper, both openly accessible to all.

Charity research funding opportunities

There are currently two new research calls open for applications now:

  1. Priorities 2023: Accelerating Diagnosis and Treatment
  2. Fatigue evidence review 2023

Find out more about these opportunities.