Hydration and independence in activities of daily living in people with multiple sclerosis: a pilot investigation

Disabil Rehabil. 2011;33(19-20):1822-5. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2010.549286. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Purpose: Bladder dysfunction and disability may cause people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) to limit fluid intake. However, hydration is rarely considered in the multiple sclerosis literature. We investigated the hydration status of people with pwMS and its association with independence in activities of daily living.

Methods: Twenty-six (six men) pwMS over 18 years old and able to walk with or without an aid took part in the study. Hydration status was measured via urine osmolality, with adequate hydration defined as an osmolality ≤500 (mOsm kg(-1)). Independence in daily activities was measured using the Barthel index.

Results: Mean urine osmolality was 470 ± 209 mOsm kg(-1) and indicated 11 (42%) participants were not adequately hydrated. Independence in daily activities could partly explain hydration status (R(2) = 0.209, p < 0.05). Additionally there was a trend for men to be less well hydrated than women.

Conclusions: The results indicate that some pwMS were not adequately hydrated and that this could be partly explained by disability. Implications of reducing and maintaining fluid levels on function and quality of life in relation to bladder dysfunction and disability in pwMS should be investigated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Water / chemistry*
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Dehydration / physiopathology
  • Dehydration / urine*
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Urine / chemistry
  • Urine / physiology