A randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of the SCI Get Fit Toolkit on leisure-time physical activity behaviour and social-cognitive processes in adults with spinal cord injury

Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2017 Aug 3;3:17044. doi: 10.1038/scsandc.2017.44. eCollection 2017.


Study design: Single blind, two-group randomized controlled trial.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of the SCI Get Fit Toolkit delivered online on theoretical constructs and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among adults with SCI.

Setting: Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

Eligibility: Inactive, English- and French-speaking Canadian adults with traumatic SCI with Internet access, and no self-reported cognitive or memory impairments.

Methods: Participants (N=90 Mage=48.12±11.29 years; 79% male) were randomized to view the SCI Get Fit Toolkit or the Physical Activity Guidelines for adults with SCI (PAG-SCI) online. Primary (intentions) and secondary (outcome expectancies, self-efficacy, planning and MVPA behaviour) outcomes were assessed over a 1-month period.

Results: Of the 90 participants randomized, 77 were included in the analyses. Participants viewed the experimental stimuli only briefly, reading the 4-page toolkit for approximately 2.5 min longer than the 1-page guideline document. No condition effects were found for intentions, outcome expectancies, self-efficacy, and planning (ΔR2⩽0.03). Individuals in the toolkit condition were more likely to participate in at least one bout of 20 min of MVPA behaviour at 1-week post-intervention compared to individuals in the guidelines condition (OR=3.54, 95% CI=0.95, 13.17). However, no differences were found when examining change in weekly minutes of MVPA or comparing whether participants met the PAG-SCI.

Conclusions: No firm conclusions can be made regarding the impact of the SCI Get Fit Toolkit in comparison to the PAG-SCI on social cognitions and MVPA behaviour. The limited online access to this resource may partially explain these null findings.

Keywords: Patient education.