Evaluation of a Phone-based Walk with Ease Program in Adults with Arthritis

Funding Number
SIP 21-003

Project Description

The Walk With Ease (WWE) program, developed by the Arthritis Foundation, is designed to reduce pain and improve the overall health of adults with arthritis. The program teaches persons with arthritis how to safely make physical activity part of their everyday life, through walking. WWE is offered as a self-guided course or in a community setting. WWE has been identified by the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance and recognized by CDC as an arthritis-appropriate, evidence-based program. A study by the Institute on Aging at the University of North Carolina shows that WWE reduces the pain and discomfort of arthritis; increases balance, strength, and walking pace; builds confidence in ability to be physically active; and improves overall health. Arthritis-appropriate, evidence-based programs, such as WWE, are still underused by persons who can benefit from them. A phone-based format of WWE may overcome barriers of participation (e.g., Intenet access for remote participation or transportation for in-person participation) and may be an effective format to reach many hard-to-reach populations (read more here). This study evaluated a phone-based format of WWE in adults with arthritis.

Project Objectives

  1. Identify and incorporate best practices for recruiting and retaining participants in evidence-based interventions, particularly among populations who are hard to reach (e.g., low socioeconomic status).
  2. Evaluate the short-term (at 6 weeks and 6 months) and long-term (at 1 year) impacts of a phone-based version of WWE (WWE-T) among adults with arthritis on various outcomes, such as self-reported pain, physical function, physical activity, confidence in one’s ability to manage arthritis, depressive symptoms, weight and other physiological measures, work loss, and health care use.
  3. Determine the effectiveness of strategies used to increase participation of adults with arthritis in WWE-T. Assessments will evaluate primary (self-reported pain and objectively measured physical function) and secondary (objectively measured physical activity, self-efficacy, depressive symptoms, weight and other physiological measures, work loss, and health care use) outcomes at each time.

Principal Investigator
Christine Pellegrini, PhD
University of South Carolina at Columbia

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