Open Access Study protocol

Walk well: a randomised controlled trial of a walking intervention for adults with intellectual disabilities: study protocol

Fiona Mitchell1, Craig Melville1*, Kirsten Stalker2, Lynsay Matthews3, Alex McConnachie4, Heather Murray4, Andrew Walker5 and Nanette Mutrie6

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2 Glasgow School of Social Work, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

3 Physical Activity for Health Research Group, School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

4 Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

5 Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

6 Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:620  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-620

Published: 1 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Walking interventions have been shown to have a positive impact on physical activity (PA) levels, health and wellbeing for adult and older adult populations. There has been very little work carried out to explore the effectiveness of walking interventions for adults with intellectual disabilities. This paper will provide details of the Walk Well intervention, designed for adults with intellectual disabilities, and a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to test its effectiveness.

Methods/design

This study will adopt a RCT design, with participants allocated to the walking intervention group or a waiting list control group. The intervention consists of three PA consultations (baseline, six weeks and 12 weeks) and an individualised 12 week walking programme.

A range of measures will be completed by participants at baseline, post intervention (three months from baseline) and at follow up (three months post intervention and six months from baseline). All outcome measures will be collected by a researcher who will be blinded to the study groups. The primary outcome will be steps walked per day, measured using accelerometers. Secondary outcome measures will include time spent in PA per day (across various intensity levels), time spent in sedentary behaviour per day, quality of life, self-efficacy and anthropometric measures to monitor weight change.

Discussion

Since there are currently no published RCTs of walking interventions for adults with intellectual disabilities, this RCT will examine if a walking intervention can successfully increase PA, health and wellbeing of adults with intellectual disabilities.

Trial registration

ISRCTN: ISRCTN50494254

Keywords:
Intellectual disability; Physical activity; Walking intervention