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Home - 03.10.2013 - New insights on exercise therapy in MS

New insights on exercise therapy in MS

Thursday, October 03, 2013, 14:55 - 15:15

Physical activity in MS: theory, determinants, and behavioral interventions

R.W. Motl (Urbana-Champaign, US)

There is substantial evidence for the benefits of physical activity, particularly exercise training, among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Paradoxically, persons with MS are substantially less physically active than the general population, and, in some cases, persons with other chronic disease. Of note, recent data indicate that fewer than 20% of persons with MS engage in sufficient physical activity for meeting public health recommendations, and the level of physical activity continually decreases over time. This underscores the importance of adopting techniques from the social and behavioral sciences for understanding determinants of physical activity in MS. Such determinants then become targets of behavioral interventions for increasing physical activity. To that end, this presentation has three objects. The presentation will first outline the major tenants and components of Social-Cognitive Theory (SCT), one of the most common and powerful approaches for understanding and change behavior, including physical activity, in the general population. The presentation will then review cross-sectional and longitudinal research on the application of SCT for understanding physical activity behavior in persons with MS. The last component of the presentation will review recent research on the efficacy of behavioral interventions based on SCT for increasing physical activity and the possible secondary outcomes in persons with MS. The overarching goal of the presentation involves developing an appreciation of the contribution affording by social and behavioral sciences for changing one of the most important health behaviors in MS, namely physical activity. This represents a new rehabilitation paradigm based on the promotion of physical activity rather than focusing on structured and supervised exercise training in MS.

The author is a paid consultant and investigator for Biogen Idec and Acorda Therapeutics. The author receives financial support from EMD Serono for presentations on educational materials.