243271 Implementation and Evaluation of the Walk with Ease Program

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:45 PM

Jeannine Galloway, MPH , Consumer Health Department, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA
Background: The Arthritis Foundation (AF) Walk with Ease (WWE) program helps people with arthritis manage their pain and encourages people without arthritis to make walking a regular habit. WWE includes information and tools needed to develop a safe exercise routine that fits individuals' unique goals. In controlled trials, WWE was shown to reduce pain and increase balance and walking pace. Individuals can use the WWE workbook on their own or can join a six-week group series led by a leader, who is certified through an in-person training or online workshop. Methods: Local AF offices and state health departments delivered the pilot program in six different geographic areas with diverse populations from April to September 2010. The purpose of the pilot was to: 1. Assess program satisfaction; 2. Obtain feedback about the training workshops, marketing materials, and Implementation Guide; and 3. Identify best practices in disseminating the group and individual program within communities. Pilot sites, partners, leaders, and participants completed electronic and paper-based surveys to evaluate the program. Results: 64% of participants strongly agreed the program motivated them to become more active, 63% strongly agreed they benefited from the program and 63% strongly agreed they would recommend the program. 100% of partners and leaders were excited to start a new program that was easy, motivating and rewarding. Conclusion: The pilot proved successful and with feedback received from the pilot, the program has been launched nationwide. This presentation will discuss the pilot, evaluation findings, and next steps.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease Program. 2. List the essential elements of the pilot and evaluation. 3. Describe lessons learned from the implementation and evaluation.

Keywords: Community Health Programs, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I led the pilot of the Walk with Ease program and am the program contact person at the Arthritis Foundation.
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.