The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of an mHealth
application (app), self-management physical activity
intervention FOOTFIT with an added patient-provider connectivity feature (FOOTFIT+), that was designed to strengthen the lower extremities of minimally ambulatory individuals with venous leg ulcers
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
Twenty-four adults 18 years and older with VLUs being treated in 2 wound clinics in the Southeastern United States participated in this study.
Preliminary estimates and 95% confidence intervals for the medians of short-term functional impacts on foot function, strength, ankle range of motion, walking capacity, depression, and physical functioning were obtained pre- and postassessment after the 6-week intervention trial.
There were negligible changes in either group for foot function. It is noted that both groups experienced substantial foot and ankle impairment at baseline. The greatest improvement in range of motion was noted in the FOOTFIT group for dorsiflexion of the right ankle (4.6 ± 5.22 lb/in2
over baseline) whereas strength decreased in both ankles for dorsiflexion and plantar flexion in the FOOTFIT+ group. No improvements were noted in walking distance or physical health for FOOTFIT (slight decrease −2.9 ± 5.6) and FOOTFIT+ (slight increase 3.0 ± 6.6) during the 6-week study period.
In a minimally ambulatory population with VLUs, our mHealth
FOOTFIT intervention composed of progressive exercise
“boosts” demonstrated minimal short-term effects. We recommend engagement with the app for a longer period to determine longer-term outcomes of lower extremity function.