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A group-mediated, home-based physical activity intervention for patients with peripheral artery disease: effects on social and psychological function

W Jack Rejeski1*, Bonnie Spring2, Kathryn Domanchuk2, Huimin Tao2, Lu Tian3, Lihui Zhao2 and Mary M McDermott2

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Health and Exercise Science and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest University, Box 7867, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA

2 Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

3 Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, Palo, Alto, CA, USA

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2014, 12:29  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-29

Published: 28 January 2014



PAD is a disabling, chronic condition of the lower extremities that affects approximately 8 million people in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an innovative home-based walking exercise program for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) improves self-efficacy for walking, desire for physical competence, satisfaction for physical functioning, social functioning, and acceptance of PAD related pain and discomfort.


The design was a 6-month randomized controlled clinical trial of 194 patients with PAD. Participants were randomized to 1 of 2 parallel groups: a home-based group-mediated cognitive behavioral walking intervention or an attention control condition.


Of the 194 participants randomized, 178 completed the baseline and 6-month follow-up visit. The mean age was 70.66 (±9.44) and was equally represented by men and women. Close to half of the cohort was African American. Following 6-months of treatment, the intervention group experienced greater improvement on self-efficacy (p = .0008), satisfaction with functioning (p = .0003), pain acceptance (p = .0002), and social functioning (p = .0008) than the control group; the effects were consistent across a number of potential moderating variables. Change in these outcomes was essentially independent of change in 6-minute walk performance.

Trial registration

[ Identifier: NCT00693940]

Peripheral artery disease; Group-mediated intervention; Physical activity; Social function; Psychological function