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MSers' motivation to engage in and promote exercise driven by availability, education

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  • MSers' motivation to engage in and promote exercise driven by availability, education

    Motivation to engage in and promote exercise is driven by availability and education; Perspectives of the multiple sclerosis community

    Learmonth, Y.C., Chan, Z., Scholes-Robertson, E., Correia, H., Hathorn, D., Kermode, A., Smith, C. and Walker, D. (2020)
    Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 26 (3). NP1-NP35.

    Link to Published Version:


    Background: Exercise training is one of the best approaches for managing the consequences of multiple sclerosis (MS). Many Australians with MS do not achieve recommended levels of exercise to gain health benefits.

    Objectives: We sought to understand the experiences of members of the MS community who lived or worked in regional or remote Australia in relation to exercise delivered by healthcare professionals.

    Methods: We undertook a qualitative research study and invited members of the MS community (i.e., persons with MS, carers, healthcare professionals and healthcare managers) to participate in focus groups and interviews. Participants lived in, or were responsible for patients who lived in outer regional or remote Australia. Data was analysed using interpretative descriptive methodology and we generated themes and subthemes to understand the experiences of the entire MS community.

    Results: We interviewed 28 people with MS, 8 carers, 12 healthcare professionals and 16 supervisors/managers of healthcare service. Overall, the MS community would be more motivated to participate in exercise services if 1) they were knowledgeable and comfortable with exercise, 2) they were provided with training on, and access to exercise, and 3) there was good communication between people with MS and their healthcare providers in relation to exercise.

    Conclusions: Rurality is only one factor influencing motivation to exercise; education on exercise appears of high importance. Education on exercise for MS is required throughout the MS community and the patient-provider relationship remains an influential juncture to encourage exercise participation.
    Dave Bexfield