Research Study Abstract

A theory-based, task-oriented, outdoor walking programme for older adults with difficulty walking outdoors: protocol for the Getting Older Adults Outdoors (GO-OUT) randomised controlled trial

  • Published on April 26, 2019

A theory-based, task-oriented, community walking programme can increase outdoor walking activity among older adults to optimise functional independence, social participation and well-being. The study objective is to determine if there is a difference in the change in outdoor walking activity from baseline to 10 weeks, 5.5 months and 12 months after receiving a 1-day interactive workshop and outdoor walking programme (Getting Older Adults Outdoors (GO-OUT)) compared with the workshop and weekly reminders (WR) in older adults with difficulty walking outdoors.

Methods and analysis
A randomised controlled trial is being conducted in four urban Canadian communities. We will stratify 240 individuals by site and participant type (ie, individual vs spousal/friend pair) and randomise to either the GO-OUT or WR intervention. The GO-OUT intervention involves a 1-day workshop, where participants complete eight interactive stations to build knowledge and skills to walk outside, followed by a 10-week group outdoor walking programme (two 1-hour sessions/week) led by a physiotherapist or kinesiologist in parks. The WR intervention consists of the same workshop and 10 weekly telephone reminders to facilitate outdoor walking. The primary outcome measure is mean outdoor walking time in minutes/week derived from accelerometry and global positioning system data. GO-OUT is powered to detect an effect size of 0.4, given α=0.05, β=0.20, equal number of participants/group and a 20% attrition rate. Secondary outcomes include physical activity, lifespace mobility, participation, health-related quality of life, balance, leg strength, walking self-efficacy, walking speed, walking distance/endurance and mood.

Ethics and dissemination
GO-OUT has received ethics approval at all sites. A Data Safety Monitoring Board will monitor adverse events. We will disseminate findings through lay summaries, conference presentations and journal articles.


  • Nancy M Salbach 1,2
  • Ruth Barclay 3
  • Sandra C Webber 3
  • C A Jones 4
  • Nancy E Mayo 5
  • Lisa M Lix 6
  • Jacquie Ripat 7
  • Theresa Grant 8
  • Cornelia van Ineveld 9
  • Philip D Chilibeck 10


  • 1

    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • 2

    Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • 3

    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  • 4

    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  • 5

    School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • 6

    Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  • 7

    Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  • 8

    Bruyere Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • 9

    Section of Geriatric Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  • 10

    College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


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