Home-based Circuit Training and Community Walking for Intermittent Claudication

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Background: Supervised exercise training is recommended for people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), yet it remains underutilized. Home-based exercise programs (HBEPs) are a potential alternative. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of conducting a full scale trial of a 12-week HBEP for people living with symptomatic PAD. 

Methods: In a randomized feasibility trial, patients with intermittent claudication were allocated to either an HBEP or a nonexercise control. The HBEP group was given a Fitbit to use during a 12-week exercise program comprising of personalized step goals and a resistance-based circuit to be undertaken at home twice weekly. The primary outcome was feasibility, assessed via eligibility, recruitment, attrition, tolerability, and adherence. Acceptability was assessed via semistructured interviews. Secondary analysis was undertaken to determine the feasibility of collecting clinical outcome data. 

Results: 188 people were screened, 133 were eligible (70.7%), 30 were recruited (22.6%) and one withdrew (3.33%). Mean adherence to the daily step goal was 53.5% (range = 29.8–90.5%), and 58.6% of prescribed circuits were completed of which 56.4% were at the desired intensity. Six adverse events were recorded, 3 of which were related to study involvement. No significant differences were observed in exploratory outcomes. Small clinically important differences were seen in walking speed and pain-free treadmill walking distance which should be confirmed or refuted in a larger trial. 

Conclusions: The HBEP was feasible and well tolerated, with successful recruitment and minimal attrition. The intervention was acceptable, with walking seen as more enjoyable than circuit exercise. The WALKSTRONG program may be suitable for those who will not, or cannot, take part in supervised exercise outside of the home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Early online date3 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Funding for this project was provided as part of a fully funded PhD for AW with the Centre of Physical Activity, Sport & Exercise Sciences, Coventry University.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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