Lutz, C., Kersten, S., & Haas, C. T. (2017). Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of an Exercise-Based Patient Education Programme in People with Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study. Multiple Sclerosis International, Article ID 2826532, 13 pages. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/msi/2017/2826532/
Abstract: Background. Although people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) benefit from physical exercise, they still show reduced physical activity and exercise behaviour. This study aimed to investigate short- and long-term effects of an exercise-based patient education programme (ePEP) that focuses on empowering pwMS to a sustainable and self-regulated exercise training management. Methods. Fourteen pwMS were randomly assigned to immediate experimental group (EG-I: n = 8) and waitlist-control group (EG-W: n = 6) and attended biweekly in a six-week ePEP. All participants were measured for walking ability, quality of life, fatigue and self-efficacy towards physical exercise before and after the ePEP, after 12 weeks and one year after baseline. Short-term effects were analysed in a randomised control trial, long-term effects of all ePEP participants (EG-I + EG-W = EG-all) in a quasi-experimental design. Results. Only functional gait significantly improved in EG-I compared to EG-W (p = 0.008, r = -0.67). Moderate to large effects were found in EG-all for walking ability. Not significant, however, relevant changes were detected for quality of life and fatigue. Self-efficacy showed no changes. Conclusion. The ePEP seems to be a feasible option to empower pwMS to a self-regulated and sustainable exercise training management shown in long-term walking improvements.