Impact of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program on Arthritis Symptoms in African Americans
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Impact of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program on Arthritis Symptoms in African Americans

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Inadequate program design and lack of access to evidence-based programs are major barriers to the management of chronic diseases such as arthritis, particularly for African Americans. This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program (WWE) in a subsample of African Americans who were part of a larger study that established evidence of the program’s efficacy.


    Participants were African Americans (N = 117) with self-reported arthritis who chose to participate in either a self-directed (n = 68) or group (n = 49) 6-week WWE program. Arthritis-related symptoms (ie, pain, fatigue, stiffness; measured using visual analog scales) were assessed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 1 year. Independent samples t tests were conducted to examine group differences (ie, self-directed vs group) in arthritis-related symptoms at baseline, and paired sample t tests were conducted to examine differences over time (ie, baseline to 6 weeks and baseline to 1 year) in symptoms. Satisfaction was examined by descriptive statistics.


    Younger, more educated individuals chose the self-directed format (P < .001, P = .008; respectively). After the 6-week intervention, participants reported a decrease in pain (P < .001), fatigue (P = .002), and stiffness (P < .001). At 1 year, the decrease in pain (P = .04) and stiffness (P = .002) remained constant. Overall, participants were satisfied with both program formats.


    The individualized and group formats of the WWE program improved arthritis-related pain, fatigue, and stiffness in African Americans. Culturally appealing arthritis interventions ultimately may increase the use of existing arthritis interventions.

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