Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph's Care Group

Outpatient Rehabilitative Care

Rheumatic Disease Program

The Rheumatic Diseases Program focuses on individualized assessment, treatment and education, with its primary objective to promote an understanding of disease pathophysiology and prevention strategies to the client, better enabling him/her to manage their disease process.

Location: Inpatient - Third Floor South; Day & Outpatient - Main Floor Rehabilitation wing, North corridor


  • 2 week inpatient program
  • Intensive therapy and education
  • Physician/Rheumatologist consults

Day Patient

  • Daily 2 week program Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm
  • Intensive therapy and education


  • Discipline specific assessment and treatment
  • Time limited based on client goal attainment
  • Visits determined by client needs

Admission Criteria


Primary medical diagnosis of arthritis with priority given to the following:

  • New onset inflammatory arthritis
  • Clients not having accessed a rheumatic diseases team for assessment and treatment services
  • Disease process sufficiently interfering with requirements of daily living
  • Non-inflammatory arthritis newly diagnosed
  • Previous clients with difficulties managing functional abilities and require review at program
  • Client commitment: full cooperation and participation in all components of the program
  • Expected to attend consistently, according to their individualized schedule
  • Will benefit from the following:
    • Pool exercises
    • Hand/foot class
    • Modalities
    • Educational sessions
    • Group/individual exercises
    • Splinting/orthotics


  • An interprofessional approach with active participation of the client based on client goals

Team Members

  • Client
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Psychometrist
  • Rehabilitation Assistant
  • Rheumatologist/Physician
  • Dietician
  • Pastoral Care Associate
  • Physical Therapist
  • Referring Physician
  • Rehabilitation Nurse
  • Social Worker


  • Focus is on arthritis management which includes education, prevention strategies, pain control, physical exercise, psychosocial issues, and maximizing independence.

Discharge Criteria

  • Client goals accomplished and addressed
  • Client is not capable or willing to participate in 80% of therapy
  • Client will be considered for discharge if three sessions are cancelled of if they miss one appointment without notification
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Supported by: The North West Local Health Integration Network of Ontario