Международный журнал физической медицины и реабилитации

Международный журнал физической медицины и реабилитации
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ISSN: 2329-9096


People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Improve in Measures of Health and Function after Participation in a Community-based Exercise Program

Deborah Backus, Blake Burdett, Laura Hawkins and Christine Manella

Objective: Exercise is safe for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and is necessary to combat the secondary deconditioning resulting from MS-related weakness and fatigue. People with MS often encounter barriers to exercise, such as inaccessible facilities/equipment, lack of proper guidance, and limited finances. This study examined outcomes in nine people with MS who participated in an outpatient exercise program designed specifically for people with MS.

Design: The program was designed in part based on input from a focus group of participants with MS. Group exercise and education classes were coordinated by a physical therapist and an exercise specialist. Specific exercises were chosen for each individual based on their impairments and ability. Outcome measures collected before, and 3 and 6 months after, program initiation assessed cardiorespiratory function, weight and body mass index, metabolic function, functional strength and quality of life.

Results: Participants demonstrated improvements to varying degrees in all outcomes.

Conclusions: A semi-individualized, group exercise program may provide people with MS an alternative feasible and viable method for exercising in an outpatient setting. Further research is necessary to determine the combination of exercise and educational variables that will lead to the most efficacious outcomes for any given individual with MS.