Epub: Learmonth et al. A qualitative exploration of the impact of a 12-week group exercise class for those moderately affected with multiple sclerosis.Disabil Rehabil. 2012 Jun 2.
Purpose: The evidence base to support therapeutic exercise for MSers is improving; however few studies have considered the MSers' perspective. This study aimed to explore the experiences and views of people moderately affected with MS following participation in a 12-week exercise programme.
Method: 20 MSers participated in a group exercise class. Subsequently, four men and ten women took part in one of two focus groups. Semi-structured questions were used to elicit participants' views on the exercise class, outcomes from exercise and the exercise class and any perceived facilitators or barriers to exercise. Data were analysed using a general inductive method.
Results: Benefits to participating in exercise for MSers included social support and symptom improvement. Psychosocial factors, symptoms and lack of service emerged as exercise barriers. Three inter-related themes emerged; (1) The exercise class developed as a bridge to allow participants to realise, (2) the benefits of the class, helping them to overcome and (3) barriers to exercise.
Conclusion: Taking part in an exercise class was a positive experience for MSers. Healthcare professionals should work with exercise professionals to provide feasible exercise opportunities to help those with MS benefit from therapeutic exercise.
"Most of the time when it comes to MS services we are simply fighting fires; autsrity measures are making it more difficult. MS utopia would be having the resources to engage all MSers in an active exercise programme. At times I find it hard myself to do regular exercise. What about you?"
"Do you find these soft research posts of any benefit? When we started this blog a lot of MSers took offence we posted about this kind of research."