Walking program helps functional performance in patients with PAD

A home-based exercise intervention with a group-mediated cognitive behavioral component improved walking performance and physical activity in patients with peripheral artery disease, according to a study published in JAMA.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and included 194 patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Participants were randomized to receive either a home-based, group-mediated cognitive behavioral walking intervention or health education sessions.

The researchers found participants in the intervention group improved their 6-minute walking distance in 6 months. At baseline, the intervention group walked an average of 1,173 feet compared with the control group, who walked 1,159 feet. At the 6-month follow-up, the test group walked 1,312 feet compared with the control group, who walked 1,123 feet.

Participants in the intervention group also significantly improved their maximal treadmill walking time and pain-free walking time, increased their physical activity and improved their Walking Impairment Questionnaire distance and speed scores.

“Based on these findings, clinical practice guidelines should advise clinicians to recommend home-based walking programs with a weekly group-mediated cognitive behavioral intervention component for patients with PAD who do not have access to supervised exercise,” the authors wrote in the study. “These findings have implications for the large number of patients with PAD who are unable or unwilling to participate in supervised exercise programs.”

For more information:

McDermott MM. JAMA. 2013;310(1):57-65.

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