Perceptions of group exercise in the management of multiple sclerosis

Aubrey, Grace and Demain, Sara (2012) Perceptions of group exercise in the management of multiple sclerosis. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 19, (10), 557-565.


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Background/aims: Exercise is a potentially useful self-management tool for people with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS). Long-term rehabilitation services for PwMS are recommended but poorly implemented by the UK National Health Service (NHS). This qualitative study explores how a community-based exercise group is perceived to influence MS self-management.

Method: Data were collected from members of one MS Society branch who attended exercise interventions supported by fundraising. Three focus groups took place (n=25): one with a seated exercise group and two with a standing exercise group. Data were transcribed and thematic analysis used to identify and explore themes.

Findings: Four themes were identified: camaraderie, taking action, understanding MS and exercising outside this environment. Participants appeared empowered in their MS management by the opportunity to take action through suitable exercise and the support of peers.

Conclusions: This study indicates that group community interventions have the potential to meet the varying and long-term rehabilitation needs of PwMS. Given the evidence of exercise induced benefits in PwMS, and the problems of access to appropriate facilities, healthcare providers and commissioners should consider how to provide long-term access to appropriate exercise for PwMS.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1741-1645
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, group exercise, perceptions,ms society
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions : Faculty of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 345513
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
October 2012Published
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2012 13:36
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:37

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