Information for physiotherapists

GLA:D® Schweiz programme

The abbreviation GLA:D® stands for Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark. The programme, which consists of the three areas ”guidance and counselling”, ”exercises” and ”quality control through data collection”, was introduced in Denmark in 2013.

The aim of GLA:D® is to implement international best practice guidelines in practice in a quality-controlled manner ( and to enable people with osteoarthritis to enjoy a good quality of life.

GLA:D® has also been successfully introduced in Australia, Canada and China in recent years. Since May 2019, GLA:D® it is also available in Switzerland. The introduction was driven forward by an interest group consisting of representatives of the teaching and research at the universities of applied sciences (HES-SO, SUPSI and ZHAW), the medical practice (Swiss Association for Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy) and the patients. (Rheumaliga Switzerland)

Once the patients have completed the programme, they have sufficient competence to manage their knee or hip problems independently. This is also confirmed by the long-term results from Denmark after 12 months.
Pain, walking ability and quality of life were significantly better after 3 and 12 months and did not decrease after 12 months as with other treatment methods.





The GLA:D® Switzerland programme is an overall concept and is offered and carried out exclusively by physiotherapists certified by GLA:D® Switzerland.

The programme is evidence-based, practice-proven and quality-controlled.

In order to guarantee the quality control of the program, an electronic data collection of each patient is carried out with subsequent anonymous data transfer to the GLA:D® Switzerland Register. The data collection has been approved by the responsible ethics committees throughout Switzerland.

Thanks to data collection, reports can be produced at national and regional level. This enables GLA:D® Switzerland certified physiotherapists to monitor the quality of their programmes. Through electronic access to the recorded data, physiotherapists can generate numerous reports, e.g. reports to the referring physician and monitor the quality of the programme at the patient level.


The following data is recorded:

  • Information provided by questionnaire KOOS (for knee arthrosis) and HOOS (for hip arthrosis)
  • Information on the intake of medication
  • Results chair Stand Test (At start and finish)
  • Results 40m walk test (At start and finish)
  • Results one leg hop test (At start and finish)

Implementation in your own medical practice/clinic

Certified GLA:D® Switzerland physiotherapists can provide the GLA:D® Switzerland program in their own practice/clinic. The program is covered by the health insurance if prescribed by a doctor.

The program starts with 3 individual sessions. These include anamnesis, diagnostic findings, performance of clinical tests and practical introduction to the exercise programme.

Afterwards the group programme starts.
The group training includes 2 education sessions as well as 12 sessions with neuromuscular exercises. Each session lasts 60 minutes and consists of three parts: Warming up, circuit training and cooling down.
For each exercise there are four levels of difficulty so that the intensity of the exercises can be increased individually for each patient during the 12 sessions.

Experience shows that group training contributes significantly to the success of the GLA:D® Switzerland programme. The exchange in the common education sessions as well as in the group training is very much appreciated by the patients and promotes their Motivation

The patients go through the 3 – 2 – 12 – 1 program:

3 individual sessions with initial examination, tests and
practical introduction to the exercise programme
2 group sessions with consultation and instruction
12 group sessions with a neuromuscular exercise program
1 single session with exit examination, including a short report to the referring doctor