People with lower-limb loss benefited from a wellness walking program designed for them, but staying committed to the activity remained a challenge, a study has found.

Committed participants—those attending three sessions within three?years—were compared to one-time-only participants using Fisher’s exact and independent Ttests. Participants provided medical history and self-reported balance confidence and prosthetic functional measures. Physiotherapy professionals/paraprofessionals assessed balance and gait. Two former Paralympians led the wellness walking sessions.

First and third sessions for committed participants were compared with T-tests. A bootstrapped multivariable logistic regression model was developed using significant univariate predictors. The 305 volunteers averaged 55.7?years old (±?15.2?years), included 68.4 percent men, and were 78.4 percent of the white race. Of the cohort, 51.8 percent had dysvascular amputations, 40.5 percent with ?1 prosthetic knee; and 49.1 percent were independent community walkers. Committed participants were initially similar to one-time-only participants except for fewer years since amputation, better balance ability, and greater likelihood of dieting. The final model—balance ability (odds ratio?=?2.4), dieting (odds ratio?=?3.3), and years since amputation (odds ratio?=?0.94)—identified 88 percent of committed participants. Balance confidence and functional improvements after three sessions were not significant.

The study found that committed participants were more likely to diet, have better balance ability, and have more recent amputations than one-time-only participants.

The study was published August 16 in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.