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Phone-Based Walk With Ease Program

The Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease Program is a 6 week evidence-based walking program for people with arthritis. However, many have difficulty attending in-person group sessions. As a result, the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center has modified the Walk With Ease program to be delivered over the phone. If you qualify for the study, all participants will receive the 6-week Walk With Ease Program by telephone as well as the Walk With Ease Guidebook at no cost to you! Participants of the research study will either start the program immediately or after 1 year.

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More Information

We have completed our study recruitment and are no longer accepting new participants.

Please contact Daniel Heidtke, Program Coordinator, at 803-576-7836 with any questions you may have.

In coordination with the Arthritis Foundation

Line drawing of man and woman stretching

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of study is to examine the effects of the Walk With Ease Program on health outcomes like pain and function.

What’s the study about?

To test how well the Walk With Ease Program works by phone, some participants will start the program immediately and some will start one year later.  

Will I get to choose when I start the program?

No. This research study is a randomized controlled trial. It’s like flipping a coin which means that you nor the study staff get to pick if you start the program immediately or after one year.

What will be expected of me if I participate in this study?

You will be asked to:

  • Participate in 2 telephone calls each week for 6 weeks with a Walk with Ease Leader.
    One call will last 45-60 minutes and will review topics relating to arthritis and exercise. The second call will last 15-20 minutes and will focus on the Walk with Ease Leader checking in on your walking goals and progress. Depending on which group you’ve been randomized to, you will start these calls immediately or after the 1 year visit.
  • Attend 4 study visits on the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus
    ALL participants whether starting the program immediately or after one year will do 4 in-person visits. At each visit, you will have your height, weight, and blood pressure measured and you will be asked to complete two physical function tests. You will also be asked to complete surveys and wear a physical activity monitor around your waist for 7 days.  Each visit will last approximately 60 minutes. The study visits will be held at the following times:

Visit 1 = Before the study starts
Visit 2 = at 6 weeks
Visit 3 = at month 6
Visit 4 = at month 12 (final visit)

Who can participate in this study?

You can participate in the study if:

A doctor or other healthcare provider has told you that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia
You are 18 years or older
You are willing to attend 4 study visits at the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus
You currently and plan to live in the Columbia, SC region for the next year

What are the two physical function tests I will be asked to complete at my study visits?

The first test will include walking as much as you can for 6 minutes. If you get tired or need to rest, you can sit down.  During the second function test, you will be asked to stand up and sit down in a chair as many times as you can in 30 seconds.

Do I receive anything for participating?

Yes, the Phone-Based Walk with Ease program and guidebook are completely free to all participants. In addition, you will receive a total of up to $140 in prepaid gift cards for completing study visits.

Where will I go for study visits? Will I have somewhere to park for the study visits?

Study visits are held on the 3rd floor in the Public Health Research Center of the Arnold School of Public Health. A map and directions will be provided prior to your visits.

921 Assembly St., Suite 318
Columbia, SC 29208
Parking is available behind the building at no cost.

What if I can no longer participate in the study after the program begins?

Participation in the Phone-Based Walk with Ease Program is completely voluntary, and you can stop at any time. However, if you feel like you no longer want to or are able to participate, we encourage you to express any concerns to our study staff prior to stopping.

Contact us

Want to learn more about our team? Click here.

Want more information about the study or have questions? Fill out this contact form or call us at 803-576-7836 and someone will be in touch with you.