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M11 A randomised controlled feasibility trial of a physical activity behaviour change intervention compared to social interaction in huntington’s disease
  1. Monica Busse1,2,
  2. Lori Quinn1,3,
  3. Cheney Drew2,
  4. Mark Kelson2,
  5. Rob Trubey2,
  6. Kirsten McEwan2,
  7. Carys Jones4,
  8. Julia Townson2,
  9. Helen Dawes5,
  10. Rhiannon Tudor Edwards4,
  11. Anne Rosser6,
  12. Kerenza Hood3
  1. 1School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Eastgate House, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2South East Wales Trials Unit, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
  3. 3Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA
  4. 4Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation, Bangor University, Bangor, India
  5. 5Oxford Institute of Nursing and Allied Health Research, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  6. 6Schools of Medicine and Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK


Background Regular physical activity has health benefits for people with Huntington’s disease (HD), however consistent engagement is challenging. We report the results of a single blind, multi-site, randomised controlled feasibility trial of a physical activity intervention in HD.

Methods Participants were randomly assigned to physical activity or social contact control interventions. The primary outcome was feasibility. Short-term benefit was assessed with the Physical Performance Test (PPT), a measure of functional ability. A range of exploratory outcomes including home and community mobility (Life Space), self-efficacy (Lorig), physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)), as well as disease-specific measures of motor and cognitive function were evaluated. Intervention fidelity and delivery costs were established. The trial was registered (ISRCTN 65378754 (13/03/2014)).

Results We recruited 46 people with HD; 22 were randomised to the physical intervention (n = 16 analysed); 24 to social contact (n = 22 analysed). Retention, fidelity and adherence met pre-determined criteria. IPAQ scores in the physical intervention group were 142% higher (1.42; 95% CI: [−22%%, 653%]); and self-efficacy for exercise (1.6; 95% CI: [0.6, 2.7]) was also higher. Life Space scores were 12 points different between groups; 95% CI: [−2, 27]. Cognitive function was better in the physical intervention group with 2·9 more correct responses (95% CI: [0.01, 5.9]) on the Symbol Digit Modality test. There were no differences in other exploratory outcome measures and in particular no between-group differences in the PPT (treatment effect: 0.3, 95% CI: [−2.1, 2.7]). Mean (SD) physical intervention per session cost was £56.97 (£34.72).

Conclusion A physical activity coaching intervention is feasible, can improve self-efficacy, physical activity behaviours and cognitive function in people with HD and represents excellent value for money in a devastating disease.

Funding Health and Care Research Wales.

  • Physical Activity
  • Behaviour change
  • Social Interaction
  • Randomised controlled feasibility trial
  • health economics
  • falls

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