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GLAD Osteoarthritis Switzerland

the implementation of GLAD Osteoarthritis in Switzerland

At a glance

  • Project leader : Prof. Dr. Karin Niedermann Schneider
  • Project team : Prof. Dr. Lara Allet, Felcitas Frank, Prof. Dr. Roger Hilfiker, Martina Roffler, Luca Scaschighini
  • Project budget : CHF 1'000'000
  • Project status : ongoing
  • Funding partner : Foundation (Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz GFCH)
  • Contact person : Karin Niedermann Schneider


The prevalence of hip and knee osteoarthritis (KH-OA) is constantly increasing in countries like Switzerland. This leads to an increasing number of total knee and hip joint replacements and its costs. Switzerland is the worldwide number one with is number of total knee and hip joint replacements.  (2003-2014 knee +115%; BfS 2014). In contrast, all international clinical guidelines   recommend exercise and patient education, and , if appropriate, weight control as first line treatment. In Switzerland, there is no systematic and structured management of people with KH-OA that is based on the consistent and evidence-based international clinical guidelines. There is however strong evidence, that the recommended first line interventions, most of all exercise, are beneficial on pain, function and self-management, and foster quality of life and autonomy from the timepoint of diagnosis during the whole course of the disease. A survey among general practitioners, rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons confirmed the assumed evidence-performance gap and the under-use of exercise and patient education as first choice (Ettlin L. 2019). Thus, there is a need to overcome the current miss-treatment (‘wait and see until surgery is inevitable’) With the programme "Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark"-Switzerland (GLAD-CH) a guideline-based and quality-controlled management of HK-OA ought to be established as standard for people with HK-OA. This also included the prevention of inactivity-assoicated NCDs in health care. GLAD has demonstrated to improve function and quality of life and decrease pain and days of sick leave. (Skou T. 2017). GLAD has also be implemented, among others, in Canada, Australia and China. Physiotherapists (PTs) will be certified as GLAD-PTs nationwide, i.e., in German, French and Italian language areas, to close the mentioned evidence-performance-gap in the management of people with HA-OA. The GLAF network will be extended, potential new partners may be scientific medical societies and representatives of the community (e.g. Schweiz. Vereinigung Morbus Bechterew-SVMB). Synergies between partners will be used.

Further information