Effects of a Home-Based Walking Intervention on Mobility and Quality of Life in People With Diabetes and Peripheral Arterial Disease

A randomized controlled trial

  1. James S. Hodges, PHD5
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  2. 2Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  3. 3Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  4. 4Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
  5. 5Division of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  1. Corresponding author: Tracie C. Collins, tcc{at}umn.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE Determine the efficacy of a home-based walking intervention to improve walking ability and quality of life in people with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We conducted a randomized, controlled, single-blind trial within university-affiliated clinics in our local community. We randomized 145 participants (45 women) with diabetes and PAD to our intervention—a 6-month behavioral intervention targeting levels of readiness to engage in routine walking for exercise—versus attention control. Our primary outcome was 6-month change in maximal treadmill walking distance. Secondary outcomes included 3-month change in maximal walking distance, lower limb function (i.e., walking impairment scores), quality of life (Medical Outcomes Short Form Survey), exercise behaviors, depressive symptoms, and self-efficacy at 3 and 6 months.

RESULTS The mean age of participants was 66.5 (SD 10.1) years. Intervention and control groups did not differ significantly in 6-month change in maximal treadmill walking distance (average [SE] 24.5 [19.6] meters vs. 39.2 [19.6] meters; P = 0.60). Among secondary outcomes, for the intervention and control groups, respectively, average walking speed scores increased by 5.7 [2.2] units and decreased by 1.9 [2.8] units (P = 0.03); the mental health quality of life subscale score increased by 3.2 [1.5] and decreased by 2.4 [1.5] units (P = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS A home-based walking intervention did not improve walking distance but did improve walking speed and quality of life in people with diabetes and PAD. Clinicians should consider recommending home-based walking therapy for such patients.

  • Received December 21, 2010.
  • Accepted July 16, 2011.

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 34 no. 10 2174-2179
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