Feasibility of a Nurse Coached Walking Intervention for Informal Dementia Caregivers

Jane Flanagan, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA.
Kathryn Post, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, MA, USA.
Rebecca Hill, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA.
John DiPalazzo, Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME, USA.


This study's purpose was to determine the feasibility of a nurse coached walking intervention for informal caregivers of persons with dementia. Participants were randomly assigned to a nurse coached intervention or a control group. Five male and 27 female caregivers ( = 32) participated. Measures included steps, walked well-being, and perceived stress. For steps walked, each group experienced a statistical difference ( = .01 control; = .02 intervention) and large effect size (0.90). Neither group had a statistical difference in well-being ( = .38 control; = .08 intervention) or perceived stress ( = .56 control; = .18 intervention). The intervention group achieved a large effect size in well-being (1.38) and moderate effect size in perceived stress (0.51). A 0.94 pedometer adherence, self-reported user ease with technology and 100% retention rate support feasibility. Many participants described feelings of loneliness and grief, but reported the pedometer motivated them to walk.