Meanings, motivations, and strategies for engaging in physical activity among women with multiple sclerosis

Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois , Urbana-Champaign, IL , USA.
Disability and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 1.99). 04/2012; 34(25):2148-57. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2012.677935
Source: PubMed


Purpose: The aim of the current study was to better understand the adoption and maintenance of physical activity from the perspective of women with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: Participants (N = 11) were women with MS who had low levels of disability and who engaged in varying levels of physical activity. Participants completed two semi-structured, audio taped interviews focusing on their beliefs, motivators, and experiences of physical activity. Results: Across all activity levels participants reported similar beliefs and motivations related to being physically active including the desire to be "normal", savoring current health, enjoyment of the activity, "feeling good" after activity, weight control, and maintenance of physical function. Active and inactive participants differed in the practical strategies they reportedly used to adopt and maintain physical activity, such as prioritizing and scheduling physical activity, managing disease-specific barriers, and building social support networks. Conclusions: A consideration of these beliefs, motivations, and strategies may be useful for designing behavioral interventions to increase physical activity that are sensitive to the needs and preferences of women with MS. [Box: see text].

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    • "Additionally, such processes seem to apply to both exercise and to PA more broadly. Theme 1 is also consistent with the findings of Dlugonski et al. (2012), who found one reason women with MS were motivated to do PA was to maintain physical capabilities. This study indicates that this reason for doing PA also applies to men with MS, furthering previous findings that men with MS use goal readjustment to overcome the impact of fatigue on PA levels (Smith et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: People with multiple sclerosis experience barriers to physical activity. Thought processes are interwoven with garnering motivation to overcome these barriers. This study investigated in-depth the role of positive thinking in physical activity motivation of two women and two men with multiple sclerosis. Participants thought aloud while completing standardised measures of physical activity, stages of change and self-efficacy, and in response to planned and spontaneous questions. Four themes were formulated using inductive thematic analysis: thoughts about purpose, self-efficacy, the past and reinforcement through positive thinking. These findings have implications for physical activity theories and delivering appropriate physical activity interventions to the multiple sclerosis community.
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 10/2012; 19(10):557-565. DOI:10.12968/ijtr.2012.19.10.557
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This research aims to investigate the direct and indirect effects of physical training on psychological health in a sample of individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Thirty-five women affected by relapsing-remitting MS, with a mean age of (40 ± 5) years and an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score ranging between 0 and 3, participated in the study. After baseline tests, in accordance with pairing techniques, participants were assigned to an experimental (EG) and a control group (CG). The EG attended a 12-week combined aerobic and strength program. Those in the EG and the CG were homogeneous at baseline and were treated similarly except for the intervention. Participants of both groups were tested before and after the intervention with the following instruments: 1. Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS); 2. Beck Depression Inventory scale (BDI); 3. Multiple Sclerosis Quality of life–54 (MSQOL-54). Data was analyzed with non-parametric tests for unpaired samples, linear regression and mediation analysis. The results showed: (a) the benefits of physical training on the perception of fatigue, depression, social activity and Quality of Life (QoL) in the EG; (b) the role of fatigue as a mediator of the relationship between participation in physical training and depression, social activity and QoL. Findings suggested the effectiveness of a combined aerobic and strength training for the improvement of psychological aspects in women affected by MS and the mediation role of fatigue in such a relationship.
    Mental Health and Physical Activity 06/2013; 6:87 - 94. DOI:10.1016/j.mhpa.2013.05.002
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