186457 Recruiting Wheelchair Users for an Exercise Intervention

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dorothy E. Nary, MA , Gerontology Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Jill Nesbitt, BA , Gerontology Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, PhD , Gerontology Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
This poster presents preliminary recruitment data on sedentary wheelchair users (n=123) for a RCT which tests a multi-component intervention to adopt and maintain a community-based exercise program, with six months of support followed by six months of exercise monitoring via exercise logs.

Effective recruitment sources included information distributed by medical providers (24%), service agencies (19%), media (11%) and acquaintances (11%). Common disability types of those screened for eligibility included neurological (78%), orthopedic (9%), autoimmune (6%) and chronic disease (4%), with individuals with SCI comprising a large percentage (42%) of those with neurological disorders. Based on eligibility criteria, 66/123 (53%) individuals were deemed eligible. The most frequent ineligibility reasons included lack of wheelchair use (16%), contraindicated medical conditions (7%), cognitive impairments (5%), high activity levels (4%), and being over the age limit (3%)

We examined whether there were significant differences between eligible individuals who initiated the program (n=51) and non-initiators (n=15). A Mann-Whitney U test, used because of the substantial difference in group sizes, revealed that the mean ages of initiators (M=40.2, SD=12.74) and non-initiators (M=42.5, SD= 13.99) were not significantly different (p=.64). Chi Square tests revealed no significant differences between the two groups regarding variables of gender (p=.56), race (White or other) (p=.38) or disability (neurological or other) (p=1.0).

Recruiting wheelchair users for a 12-month RCT exercise study is labor-intensive, as nearly half of those screened were ineligible. Furthermore, about 23% of eligible individuals did not initiate the study. Effective outreach strategies between the screening and study initiation are needed.

Learning Objectives:
Understand barriers that may obstruct enrollment of wheelchair users in exercise studies. Identify effective recruitment sources for wheelchair users living in the community. Compare basic demographic characteristics of wheelchair users who initiate or do not initiate a self-directed exercise study.

Keywords: Disability, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work in this area of research and analyzed the data presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.