Improving Activity Engagement Among Persons With SCI During COVID-19

Overview

During the current COVID-19 pandemic many spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation services are limited to emergency management, leaving those living in the community without access to services. Unfortunately, this can lead to negative effects including increase in emotional distress, feelings of isolation, and decreased activity engagement. Due to their limited mobility and greater likelihood of respiratory illness it is imperative to provide alternative forms of activity engagement to reduce their risk for secondary complications. Physical activity has been demonstrate to have numerous benefits for individuals with SCI ranging from enhanced health through prevention of secondary complications to improved subjective well-being. The current study proposes to provide an online physical activity program through web-based videoconferencing to person with SCI to improve overall wellbeing and activity engagement. The program will consist of six weeks of twice-weekly, 45-minute sessions in which an experienced fitness instructor (i.e., wheelchair aerobics) with lived experience and a Kinesiology graduate student will lead online sessions. The sessions will be comprised of a 10-minute warm-up phase, a 25-minute aerobic phase and a 10-minute cool-down phase that will incorporate upper-extremity flexibility exercises and guided meditation. In all cases, remote (i.e., in-home) participant monitoring of physiological signals will be conducted by the instructor to ensure safety of participants. Once the program has been completed, participants will be asked to complete self-report questionnaires related to acceptability, feasibility, and limited effectiveness. Participants will also be asked to complete a brief semi-structured interview examining barriers and facilitators of the program. Participant feedback from the interviews will be used to further develop of the program to meet the needs of the population and develop sustainable approaches for access to care in the community setting through collaborations with community partners (SCI Ontario, National SCI Alliance, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation). Ultimately, the proposed project aims to improve overall wellbeing and access to health care service for those with SCI during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 31, 2020

Interventions

  • Other: WebEx Physical Activity Program
    • The program will be delivered twice-weekly through 45-minute sessions over 6 weeks. An experienced fitness instructor with lived experience and a graduate student from the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will lead a class of 4-6 participants. The sessions will be comprised of a 10-minute warm-up phase, a 25-minute aerobic phase and a 10-minute cool-down phase that will incorporate upper-extremity flexibility exercises and mindfulness meditation. Over the duration the instructor will be sensitive to varying levels of function and fitness and will structure the classes to enable a slow progression of intensity. Individual semi-structured interviews will be completed over the WebEx platform to garner feedback and improve study programming for future implementation of a health care service at Parkwood Institute Outpatient Clinic.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Intervention
    • The program will be delivered twice-weekly through 45-minute sessions over 6 weeks. An experienced fitness instructor with lived experience and a graduate student from the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will lead a class of 4-6 participants. The sessions will be comprised of a 10-minute warm-up phase, a 25-minute aerobic phase and a 10-minute cool-down phase that will incorporate upper-extremity flexibility exercises and mindfulness meditation. Over the duration the instructor will be sensitive to varying levels of function and fitness and will structure the classes to enable a slow progression of intensity. Individual semi-structured interviews will be completed over the WebEx platform to garner feedback and improve study programming for future implementation of a health care service at Parkwood Institute Outpatient Clinic.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Treatment Satisfaction
    • Time Frame: 6 weeks
    • Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire

Secondary Measures

  • Ability to Participate in Social Roles and Activities
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form
  • Fatigue
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form
  • Satisfaction with Social Roles and Activities
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form
  • Positive Affect and Well-Being
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form
  • Pain Interference
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form
  • Resilience
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form
  • Self-Esteem
    • Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, and at 3 month follow-up
    • Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life Short Form

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Adult 18 years or older; living with a spinal cord injury; living in the community in Ontario; access to a computer and internet

Exclusion Criteria

  • Not cleared by a physician to participate

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Lawson Health Research Institute
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Swati Mehta, PhD, Principal Investigator, Lawson Health Research Institute
    • Eldon Loh, PhD, Principal Investigator, Parkwood Institute, St. Joseph’s Health Care London
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Swati Mehta, PhD, 5196466100, swati.mehta@sjhc.london.on.ca

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