Lessening the impact of fatigue: Therapies for Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases (LIFT)

Disease - Ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosis

Lead applicant - Professor Gary Macfarlane

Organisation - University of Aberdeen

Type of grant - Clinical Studies

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £735,536.01

Start date - 1 August 2016

Reference - 21175

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The aim of this research is to improve access to treatments which alleviate fatigue in people with inflammatory rheumatic conditions such as physical activity and talking therapy.

Why is this research important?

Fatigue is common and disabling for most patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease. Therapies designed to improve physical activity and talking treatments are helpful in reducing the burden of fatigue, however few patients have access to these treatments on the NHS. This research will use usual care linked with either talking therapy or physical activity to assess whether patients benefit from receiving these extra treatments compared to the usual care alone.

Centralising the delivery of standard programmes across the range of inflammatory rheumatic conditions using Skype/telephone would greatly improve the access. These methods of delivery have not previously been studied as a way of communicating with patients in rheumatology however have been found to be beneficial in other chronic conditions such as chronic widespread pain. By using this study scientists will be able to find who is most likely to benefit from which treatment and how this treatment has reduced fatigue.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Finding out whether these treatments are beneficial for fatigue in inflammatory rheumatic conditions will provide treatments which will reduce the severity and impact of fatigue. It will be beneficial to know which treatments will be best for which patients providing a more personal care from doctors.