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LL-08 Walk SLE – end of study results of a pilot study exploring walk with ease, a self-directed walking program, in lupus patients
  1. Brittaney-Belle E Gordon1,
  2. Katherine Kaufman2,
  3. Sean T Hicks1,
  4. Rebecca J Cleveland1,
  5. Julie A Norfleet1,
  6. Leigh F Callahan1 and
  7. Saira Z Sheikh1
  1. 1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  2. 2Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA


Background Fatigue and arthritis are common sources of impairment in SLE patients that persist despite lifestyle and pharmacologic interventions. Walk with Ease (WWE) is the Arthritis Foundation’s 6 week evidence-based walking program developed for adults with arthritis that has been shown to improve physical function, pain, stiffness and fatigue in individuals with arthritis. WWE is offered in two formats – group (instructor led) or self-directed. The goal of this study was to examine the feasibility of self-directed WWE in SLE patients.

Methods We enrolled 75 SLE patients to take part in the WWE program, all of whom completed an initial evaluation. The post-6 week evaluation with no usual care comparison group was conducted in 46 patients. Self-reported outcomes including symptoms (pain, stiffness and fatigue visual analog scales [VAS]) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-fatigue) scale were evaluated. Means and effect sizes (ES) with 95% confidence intervals were computed for changes in symptoms between baseline and 6 weeks, adjusted for gender, age, race, and baseline outcome. Participant satisfaction measures with WWE are reported as percentages.

Results Participants were mainly women (96.0%), aged ≥40 years, self-identified as black (53.3%) and 13 years from initial SLE diagnosis. Fifteen (20.0%) participants also had a physician diagnosis of OA, while 21 (28.0%) participants had concurrent fibromyalgia. Four participants were screen failures, 9 were withdrawn by the study team, 13 were lost to follow-up and 3 had not yet reached the end of the 6 week protocol. There were 46 participants who completed the WWE program; no significant differences in baseline measures were observed between those who did and did not complete the study. At the end of 6 weeks, participants reported having reduced FACIT-fatigue scores (ES=0.14), as well as having reduced scores for VAS fatigue and stiffness (ES=0.22 and 0.11, respectively [table 1]). Most participants reported walking for at least 30 minutes/day (47.7%),≥3 days/week (86.4%) and utilized the workbook for motivation (65.3%). Participants also reported increased physical activity (81.8%), confidence to continue exercising (97.8%) and satisfaction from the program (97.8%).

Abstract LL-08 Table 1

Effect Sizes and means (SD) for overall effectiveness of WWE from baseline and follow-up

Conclusions WWE is a feasible, low-cost program that may decrease SLE-related fatigue and stiffness, improve activity and promote long-term lifestyle changes.

Trial registration ClinicalTrials. gov Identifier: NCT02631005.

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