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The impact of self-reported arthritis and diabetes on response to a home-based physical activity counseling intervention.

Huffman KM, Sloane R, Peterson MJ, Bosworth HB, Ekelund C, Pearson M, Howard T, Pieper CF, Morey MC. The impact of self-reported arthritis and diabetes on response to a home-based physical activity counseling intervention. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. 2010 May 1; 39(3):233-9.

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OBJECTIVES: Physical activity (PA) has the potential to improve outcomes in both arthritis and diabetes, but these conditions are rarely examined together. Our objective was to explore whether persons with arthritis alone or those with both arthritis and diabetes could improve amounts of PA with a home-based counselling intervention. METHODS: As part of the Veterans LIFE (Learning to Improve Fitness and Function in Elders) Study, veterans aged 70-92 were randomized to usual care or a 12-month PA counselling programme. Arthritis and diabetes were assessed by self-report. Mixed models were used to compare trajectories for minutes of endurance and strength training PA for persons with no arthritis (n = 85), arthritis (n = 178), and arthritis plus diabetes (n = 84). RESULTS: Recipients of PA counselling increased minutes of PA per week independent of disease status (treatment arm by time interaction p < 0.05 for both; endurance training time p = 0.0006 and strength training time p < 0.0001). Although PA was lower at each wave among persons with arthritis, and even more so among persons with arthritis plus diabetes, the presence of these conditions did not significantly influence response to the intervention (arthritis/diabetes group x time interactions p > 0.05 for both outcomes) as each group experienced a nearly twofold or greater increase in PA. CONCLUSIONS: A home-based PA intervention was effective in increasing minutes of weekly moderate intensity endurance and strength training PA in older veterans, even among those with arthritis or arthritis plus diabetes. This programme may serve as a useful model to improve outcomes in older persons with these pervasive diseases.

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