RAP-eL has been developed to provide practising physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and students of other disciplines with essential disease-specific knowledge and practical clinical practice strategies to help optimally co-manage people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RAP-eL focuses on supporting knowledge (i.e. ‘knowing what to do’) and practice (i.e. ‘delivering care in practice’). Although RAP-eL focuses on rheumatoid arthritis as the clinical practice example, the resource can be used more generally as a tool to build knowledge and skills in person-centred management for chronic health conditions.

We know from our earlier research that physiotherapists and trainees lack confidence in their disease-specific knowledge and clinical skills in best-practice management of RA. RAP-eL been developed to close those evidence-practice gaps.

RAP-eL is based around a series of e-learning modules intended to assist both physiotherapists in their clinical practice and students in their clinical training who may encounter patients with RA.

RAP-eL works, as evidenced by the results from our randomised controlled trial among practising physiotherapists and from implementation research among physiotherapy and medical students. RAP-eL is used worldwide as a resource for health professionals to improve their knowledge and skills in RA care.

Project background

Our core contributors

Feedback from some of our users

The RAP-eL program was of a high standard from beginning to end. The process was appealing from an investment of time point of view; with the program easily being able to be broken up in blocks. The resource itself was very well presented, an A+ for website design, A+ for ease of use and A+ for content. A very worthwhile experience and program. Thank you.
Luke Brennan, Physiotherapist
I found it very user friendly, informative and clinically relevant. It was the sort of PD that can be applied within a clinical setting very easily. I found the videos of patients useful as well to gain a clinical picture of the disease.
Catherine Saayman, Physiotherapist

Our Partners

Curtin University
Arthritis and Osteoporosis Western Australia
Government of Western Australia. Department of Health

RAP-eL is publicly supported by

Australian Physiotherapy Association
Australian Rheumatology Association
Australian Rheumatology Health Professionals Association
Arthritis Australia
Musculoskeletal Australia

Research supporting RAP-eL

  • Briggs AM, Fary RE, Jordan JE, Slater H. Physiotherapy Management for Rheumatoid Arthritis. In: McQuade J, Mazur M, editors. A Practical Guide to Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis. Shenton Park: Fremantle Press; 2017. p. 129-42. [Link]
  • Briggs AM, Fary RE, Slater H, Bragge P, Chua J, Keen HI, et al. Disease-specific knowledge and clinical skills required by community-based physiotherapists to co-manage patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res. 2012;64(10):1514-26. [Link]
  • Briggs AM, Fary RE, Slater H, Ranelli S, Chan M. Physiotherapy co-management of rheumatoid arthritis: identification of red flags, significance to clinical practice and management pathways. Man Ther. 2013;18(6):583-7. [Link]
  • Fary RE, Slater H, Chua J, Briggs AM. Translating policy into practice for community-based management of rheumatoid arthritis: Targeting professional development needs among physiotherapists. Int J Rheum. 2012;240689:doi:10.1155/2012/240689. [Link]
  • Fary RE, Slater H, Chua J, Ranelli S, Chan M, Briggs AM. Policy-into-practice for rheumatoid arthritis: Randomized controlled trial and cohort study of e-learning targeting improved physiotherapy management. Arthritis Care Res. 2015;67(7):913-22. [Link]
  • Fary RE, Slater H, Jordan JE, Gardner P, Chua J, Payne C, et al. Assessing implementation readiness and success of an e-resource to improve pre-licensure physical therapy workforce capacity to manage rheumatoid arthritis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2017;47:652-63. [Link]
  • Gardner P, Slater H, Jordan JE, Fary RE, Chua J, Briggs AM. Physiotherapy students' perspectives of online e-learning for interdisciplinary management of chronic health conditions: a qualitative study. BMC Med Educ. 2016;16:62. [Link]
  • Slater H, Briggs AM, Fary RE, Chan M. Upper cervical instability associated with rheumatoid arthritis: what to 'know' and what to 'do'. Man Ther. 2013;18(6):615-9. [Link]
  • Slater H, Deer BF, Merolli MA, Li LC, Briggs AM. Use of eHealth technologies to enable implementation of musculoskeletal models of care: the evidence and practice. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2016;30:483-502. [Link]
  • Slater H, Leech M, Ayoub S, Chua J, Briggs AM. Innovative interdisciplinary e-learning to upskill medical students: insights. Med Educ. 2016;50:574-5. [Link]
  • Kennedy N. RAP-eL: rheumatoid arthritis e-learning for physiotherapists. J Physiother 2017; 63: 61. [Link]