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HEALTH EDUCATION AND PROMOTION: JOINT HEALTH

It is important for individuals with bleeding disorders to participate in some form of physical activity.  Being physically active helps to strengthen one’s muscles, bones and joints.  One of the many benefits of having a strong healthy body can be a reduction in the number of joint bleeding episodes an individual might experience.

HFA’s joint health initiative began by evaluating what the Blood Brotherhood and Families program male survey respondents knew about safe and effective physical activity and joint health based on the 2017 survey. As a result, HFA developed educational resources to improve the HFA’s knowledge of safe physical activities for people with bleeding disorders. One of the educational resources included a library of videos on easy and safe physical exercises for different muscles to improve joint health and ways to modify those exercises during a bleeding episode. HFA also developed the “Best of You: Your Journey to Healthier Joints Challenge” to increase participation in safe physical activity and promote healthy joints.

WHAT WE LEARNED AND HOW

HFA collected information in 2017 surveys of men over the age of 18 with hemophilia A, B and von Willebrand who were participants in the Blood Brotherhood and Families programs. These surveys identified the participant’s knowledge and awareness regarding physical activity and joint health.

We Learned:

Our findings regarding joint health and safe physical activity knowledge are consistent across both Families and Blood Brotherhood program participants.

  • Blood Brothers are fairly educated on what are considered safe physical activities and the benefits of engaging in regular physical activities. However, 1 in 5 men still could not accurately identify safe physical activity or correctly identify the benefits of physical activity.
  • Most parents/caregivers appeared to be knowledgeable about safe physical activities and benefits to engaging in regular physical activities for their children. However, 1 in 4 parents/caregivers could not accurately identify safe physical activity or correctly identify the benefits of physical activity.
  • Thus, we learned that efforts are needed to increase knowledge and awareness, so that close to 100% of men correctly identify safe physical activity and the benefits of physical activity with regards to joint health.

HEALTH EDUCATION

Learning Central Joint Health Courses

It is important for individuals with bleeding disorders to participate in some form of physical activity.  Being physically active helps to strengthen one’s muscles, bones and joints.  One of the many benefits of having a strong healthy body can be a reduction in the number of bleeding episodes an individual might experience.

To help the bleeding disorders community learn more about which activities are safe for those with bleeding disorders, HFA developed interactive joint health courses in Learning Central. These courses included joint basics, safe physical activities for joint health, and exercise modifications for joint health. HFA’s Learning Central is an e-learning platform that provides medically vetted, accurate information for the community to learn something new or gain  information to educate others about bleeding disorders.

The Joint Health Courses can be found in the Health and Wellness Center at www.hfalearning.org.

Safe, Physical Activity

It is important for individuals with bleeding disorders to participate in some form of physical activity.  Being physically active helps to strengthen one’s muscles, bones and joints.  One of the many benefits of having a strong healthy body can be a reduction in the number of bleeding episodes an individual might experience.

HFA partnered with health expert and physical therapist, Rachel Horton, PT, DPT, CSPS to create a series of videos demonstrating safe physical activities for people with bleeding disorders supporting joint health. Blood brother Eric demonstrates each physical activity. Modifications are provided for those new to the exercises and/or with physical limitations.  These short,  informative videos are found within the Learning Central Joint Health course and are also available on HFA’s You Tube Channel 

HOW WE PROMOTE JOINT HEALTH

Best of You: Your Journey to Healthier Joints Challenge

In 2019, HFA created the Best of You: Your Journey to Healthier Joints. HFA collaborated with member organizations to implement an eight-week health challenge to increase knowledge and awareness of and participation in safe physical activities in adult men with hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.  During the challenge, 36 adult men joined a total of 6 teams from the following HFA Member Organizations:

  • Asociación Puertorriqueña de Hemofilia (APH);
  • Hemophilia Association of New York (HANY);
  • Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan (HFM);
  • Hemophilia Foundation of Oregon (HFO);
  • Northern Ohio Hemophilia Foundation (NOHF)
  • Oklahoma Hemophilia Foundation (OHF).

Starting in 10/28/2019 and concluding on 12/20/2019, all the participants combined, recorded  15,425,677 steps/amount of activity.

Meet Tim, John, Orlando, Eduardo, Kevin and Matthew!
Each follow their own unique path to joint health.

Read more about Best of You joint health challenge in Dateline Federation magazine:

 


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