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Completed Projects - Walk With Ease

Evaluation of The Walk with Ease Program Among People with Arthritis

Funding Number


Project Description

The purpose of this project is to evaluate a physical activity program specifically developed for people with arthritis: Walk with Ease. Physical activity is a key self-management strategy for people with arthritis and has been linked to reduced pain, improved function, mental health, and health-related quality of life. Despite this, only 44% of adults with arthritis meet physical activity recommendations, and only 16% engage in recommended strengthening exercises. Walking may be one of the most feasible activities for persons with arthritis. It is low impact, low cost, can be done almost anywhere, and does not require special equipment. Walk with Ease is a community-based, group walking program offered by the Arthritis Foundation. To date, no rigorous program evaluation has been completed that quantifies the acceptability or disease-specific benefits of participating in the Walk with Ease program for persons with arthritis.

Project Objectives

  1. to develop a standardized WWE intervention protocol;
  2. to develop additional materials on methods for recruitment of leaders and participants, content for training program leaders and measurement staff, and a detailed logistics guide for program implementation;
  3. to design and implement a comprehensive evaluation of short and long-term outcomes of the Walk with Ease program in 2 forms: a) group-led, and b) self-directed, among adults with arthritis;
  4. to determine the feasibility of disseminating the Walk with Ease program by state health department arthritis programs and local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation in partnership with aging services and other community sectors.

Abstracts, Publications, Presentations

Altpeter M, Schoster B, Meier A, Callahan LF. The Nuts and Bolts of Program Adaptation: Our formative evaluation of the Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease program. Journal of Applied Gerontology (under review).

Altpeter M, Callahan LF, Schoster B, Meier A, Buysse K. Applying the RE-AIM framework to a formative evaluation of the Walk with Ease (WWE) program for people with arthritis. 2nd International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, April 13-16, 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Principal Investigator

Leigh Callahan PhD
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

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