Wilks, Christina (2016) Exploring the factors which effect participation in exercise and physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Reason: Although exercise has been shown to be beneficial for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), studies suggest that 80% of adults with MS do not reach the recommended guidelines for physical activity and exercise set by the department of health. This can lead to secondary conditions and progression of MS symptoms. The purpose of this research is to explore the reason why adults with MS do and do not meet the recommended physical activity and exercise guidelines.

Method: The researcher ran 4 focus groups to gain knowledge of the lived experiences of 18 individuals who either had MS or were speaking on behalf of an individual they cared for with MS. Individuals were approached at a Multiple Sclerosis Society branch. The data was transferred into transcriptions and then analysed using template analysis.

Results: The results showed 3 major emerging themes, these were personal barriers, social barriers and environmental barriers. These 3 themes linked with the Socio-Ecological Theory, developing elements of the model which could help future research develop physical activity and exercise interventions individuals reported that they didn‟t exercise for a number or reasons, the largest discussions were based around individuals suggesting: being scared of the risk of falling, not physically able to participate, need too much time for recovery and overcome by fatigue.

Conclusion: The research has limitations however it provided strong findings to suggest further research is needed to look at using the Socio Ecological Model to create behavior change in individual with MS to participate in Exercise and physical activity. Behaviour change models need to consider personal, social and environmental barriers.

FINAL THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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