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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Oct;33(10):1629-34.

A primary care walking exercise program for patients with intermittent claudication.

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Department of Movement Sciences and Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



In a pilot study, the hypothesis was tested that a home-based walking exercise program with structured coaching would improve walking performance and adherence in patients with intermittent claudication (IC).


Thirty-one IC patients with a rest ankle-brachial pressure index < 0.90 started a 24-wk walking program in the home environment. They were coached according to the Health Counseling Model (HCM). Patients were instructed to walk at least 9 bouts.wk-1 and to walk through the pain. The main effect measures were pain-free (initial claudication distance (ICD)) and maximum walking distance (absolute claudication distance (ACD)) measured with a graded treadmill test, a corridor exercise test, a walking-diary, and the score on the Walking Impairment Questionnaire (WIQ).


Twenty-four participants completed the program. The reported walking frequency was 7.4 times.wk-1. The average ICD improved from 289 m (95% CI, 209-369) to 347 m (95% CI, 244-449) (P < 0.05) and from 241 m (95% CI, 171-310) to 373 m (95% CI, 273-472) on the treadmill and the corridor test, respectively. The average ACD improved from 490 m (95% CI, 397-583) to 544 m (95% CI, 438-650) and from 564 m (95% CI, 412-717) to 726 m (95% CI, 546-906) (P < 0.01) on the treadmill and the corridor test, respectively. The average maximum distance reported in the walking-diary improved from 957 m (95% CI, 291-1623) to 1294 m (95% CI, 646-1941). The score of the walking distance on the WIQ improved from 57% (95% CI, 42-71%) to 60% (95% CI, 46-74%).


IC patients improved their average ICD and ACD. The walking exercise program in the home environment with coaching according to the HCM seems a promising intervention to be tested in a randomized controlled trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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