Effects of an 1-day education program on physical functioning, activity and quality of life in community living persons with multiple sclerosis

NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;33(3):439-48. doi: 10.3233/NRE-130975.


Background: Persons with MS (pwMS) in the community show reduced physical activity while studies demonstrated beneficial effects of exercise therapy in supervised settings.

Objective: This study investigated, in pwMS living in the community, the effects of a 1-day education program about exercises and sports, on physical activity behavior and related outcome measures as self-efficacy, perceived walking ability, fatigue, perceived impact of MS and quality of life.

Methods: PwMS attended an education day with theoretical and practical sessions that was organized by the Flemish MS Society and professional exercise experts. Forty-two participants immediately completed questionnaires as well as after three and six months. Overall disability and physical activity level were measured using PDSS (patient determined disease steps) and PASIPD (Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities) respectively. Other outcomes were the ESES, MSWS-12, MFIS, MSIS-29 and SF-36. Analyses of variance were performed in groups distinguished by self-reported disability level (PDDS ≤1; n = 24 and PDSS >1; n = 18).

Results: Groups differed significantly for perceived walking ability (PDDS,MSWS-12) and physical related-domains of MSIS-29 and SF-36, but not PASIPD. A trend towards significant group*time interaction effect was found for the PASIPD indicating, at 3 and 6 months, increased physical activity in the subgroup PDDS ≤1. For the MSIS-29, a significant time effect was found with reduced impact being largest for the more disabled group at 6 months. No changes were found in other outcome measures.

Conclusion: An one-day education program had, depending on perceived disability level, some long-standing effects on physical activity and perceived impact of MS.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; education program; physical activity; society.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome