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

Mitchell, Fiona and Melville, Craig and Stalker, Kirsten and Matthews, Lynsay and McConnachie, Alex and Murray, Heather and Walker, Andrew and Mutrie, Nanette (2013) Walk well : a randomised controlled trial of a walking intervention for adults with intellectual disabilities: study protocol. BMC Public Health, 13. ISSN 1471-2458

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Abstract

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. 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. 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.