Feasibility and Effectiveness of the GLB-AIM (Group Lifestyle Balance Adapted for Individuals With Impaired Mobility) Intervention for People Living with Spinal Cord Injury




Mazurek, Zachary


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Purpose: The prevalence of obesity in the population living with spinal cord injury (SCI) is greater than the general population. Obesity linked coronary heart disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the population living with SCI. Behavioral interventions to promote weight loss are limited for the SCI population. GLB-AIM looks to address the lack of behavioral interventions by providing a feasible and effective program to promote weight loss for people living with SCI. Methods: The GLB-AIM was delivered to participants over the course of 12 months. The sample was assessed for feasibility as measured by attendance over 12-month program and compliance with dietary self-monitoring for the first 13 weeks. Effectiveness was evaluated by measuring weight change over 12 months. The data were analyzed using a mixed models analysis controlling for time living with injury, group assignment, and starting weight. Results: The 12-month retention rate was 62.5% (20/32), Session attendance for the core sessions averaged 74.6% and dropped to 48.9% during the support sessions. Dietary self-monitoring for group 1 averaged 33% over the first 13 sessions and increased to 77% among group 2. Analysis of the combined SCI groups indicated significant weight loss (p = 0.017) that averaged 5.03 +8.58 kg over the 12-month program. Discussion: The GLB-AIM was a feasible and effective approach for promoting weight loss over 12 months for a sample with SCI. Additional adaptations may increase attendance during the subsequent support sessions and reduce program attrition by addressing barriers related to health events and transportation issues. The GLB-AIM program promoted weight loss in people living with SCI, which highlights the program’s effectiveness. Future adaptations of the GLBAIM should seek to enhance weight loss through increased weight feedback and the providing individualized calorie targets.