A tele-health intervention to increase physical fitness in people with spinal cord injury and cardiometabolic disease or risk factors: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Charles H. Bombardier, Joshua R. Dyer, Patricia Burns, Deborah A. Crane, Melissa M. Takahashi, Jason Barber, Mark S. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study design: Clinical trial. Objectives: We used a single-blind parallel-group design to test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a telehealth-based physical activity counseling intervention to increase physical fitness in people with SCI. Setting: Seattle, Washington, United States. Methods: We recruited under-active, manual wheelchair-using adults at least 1-year post-SCI who had at least two cardiometabolic risk factors/diseases. Participants underwent baseline tests of peak cardiorespiratory fitness; lipids, glucose and insulin; muscle and fat mass; self-reported physical activity, depression, pain and other factors. Participants were assigned 1:1 to treatment vs. usual care (UC) control conditions via concealed computerized randomization. Treatment was delivered via telephone and adapted from the 16-session Diabetes Prevention Program. All baseline tests were repeated at 6 months. Prespecified feasibility goals were to recruit at least nine participants/quarter and retain 85% with complete fitness testing at 6 months. Prespecified efficacy goals were to demonstrate at least a medium treatment effect size (0.50) on fitness, self-reported physical activity, and other outcomes. Results: Seven participants were randomized to treatment, 8 to UC over 15 months. Maximum recruitment was only 5.4 participants/quarter. Thirteen (87%) of participants were retained. The effects of treatment on fitness and most cardiometabolic risk factors did not meet expectations, whereas the effects on self-reported physical activity, depression, and pain did meet expectations. Conclusions: The study did not meet key efficacy and feasibility objectives, yet there were some promising effects on self-report measures and lessons to be learned for designing future trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSpinal Cord
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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