STEPS to Health was a three-year study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 400 adults with arthritis were be enrolled in the study and were asked to complete a 12-week self-directed multicomponent exercise program (First Step to Active Health®) or a 12-week self-directed nutrition program (Steps to Healthy Eating). Participants completed measures of physical activity, diet, symptoms of arthritis, lower and upper body strength, functional aerobic capacity, flexibility, balance, and psychosocial functioning before they begin the program, at the end of the program (12-weeks), and six months later. At the last measurement visit, participants who started with the exercise program received the nutrition program and vice versa. If shown to be effective, these programs could be widely disseminated for a very low cost, thus having the potential to make a tremendous public health impact on the burden of arthritis.


Baruth, M., Wilcox, S., Schoffman, D.E., Schlaff, R.A., Goldufsky, T.M. (2018).  Effects of a self-directed nutrition intervention among adults with chronic health conditions. Health Education & Behavior, 45(1), 61-67. Epub ahead of print June 2017. PMID: 28580795.

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Baruth, M., Wilcox, S., Schoffman, D.E., Becofsky, K. (2016). Understanding the effects of a self-directed exercise program on depressive symptoms among adults with arthritis through serial mediation analyses.  Mental Health and Physical Activity, 11, 13-18.

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Sharpe, P.A., Wilcox, S., Schoffman, D.E., Hutto, B., Ortaglia, A. (2015). Association of complementary and alternative medicine use with symptoms and physical functional performance among adults with arthritis. Disability Health Journal, 9, 37-45. PMID: 26232355.

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Baruth, M., Wilcox, S., Sharpe, P.A., *Schoffman, D.E., Becofsky, K. (2014). Baseline predictors of physical activity in a sample of adults with arthritis participating in a self-directed exercise program.  Public Health, 128(9), 834-841. PMID: 25204768.

Wilcox, S., Schoffman, D.E., Dowda, M., Sharpe, P.A. (2014). Psychometric properties of the 8-item English Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale in a diverse sample.  Arthritis, 2014, Article ID 385256.  doi:10.1155/2014/385256 PMID: 25215233. PMCID: 4158258.

Baruth, M., Wilcox, S., Schoffman, D.E., Becofsky, K. (2013). Factors associated with disability in a sample of adults with arthritis.  Disability and Health Journal, 6(4), 377-384. PMID: 24060261

Schoffman, D.E., Wilcox, S., Baruth, M. (2013). Association of body mass index with physical function and health-related quality of life in adults with arthritis. Arthritis, 2013,  Article ID 190868. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/190868   PMID:  24392226

Becofsky, K., Baruth, M., Wilcox, S. (2013). Physical functioning, perceived disability, and depressive symptoms in adults with arthritis. Arthritis, 2013, Article ID 525761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/525761 PMID: 24093063