5285.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - Board 5

Abstract #8141

An assessment of the effectiveness of a community-based exercise program for people with arthritis

Kristin Quitoni, MPH1, Jenny Lipana, MPH, CHES2, Michele L. Boutaugh, MPH, BSN2, Colleen DiIorio, PhD1, and Shannon Whetstone Mescher, MEd, CHES2. (1) Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, N.E, Atlanta, GA 30322, 404-636-5745, jlipana@arthritis.org, (2) Health Promotion, Arthritis Foundation, National Office, 1330 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309

Arthritis, the leading cause of disability, affects 43 million Americans. Arthritis can have a significant effect on quality of life, leading to many activities limitations. The pain and disability accompanying all types of arthritis can be minimized through early diagnosis and appropriate management. Exercise, an important component of a comprehensive self-management program for individuals with arthritis, may be a low cost and effective way to ease the symptoms. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation's People with Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) in meeting its goals of decreased pain, improved physical status, and improved emotional affect. The long-term goal of this evaluation is to build a case upon which to market the program to managed care organizations. Thus, the effects of the exercise program on direct medical costs, such as doctor visits and medication usage, and indirect costs, such as absences from work, and days of limited activity are also examined. PACE, a community-based, non-clinical exercise program, is usually conducted in six-week sessions, with one-hour classes, meeting one to three times a week. This program addresses: range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises, endurance activities, balance and coordination activities, weight bearing activities, relaxation techniques, socialization, and health education. At 12 sites, participants completed pre- and post-tests consisting of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 (AIMS2) questionnaire and several additional health care items. This presentation will discuss the effects of the exercise program on reported pain, physical status, emotional affect, direct medical costs and indirect costs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: 1. Describe the PACE program. 2. Identify the outcome measures that were found to improve during the program. 3. Summarize the recommendations for future evaluations of the PACE program

Keywords: Evaluation, Arthritis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Arthritis Foundation
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA