Web-based physiotherapy in moderate to severe MS

Hermès Canada ǀ MS Society Wellness Research Innovation Grant

Principal Investigator: Dr. Katherine Knox

Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan

Term: November 1, 2016-October 31, 2018

Funding:$39,730

Keywords: physiotherapy, wellness

Project Description:

Persons with MS may find it challenging to participate in regular physical activity or exercise, which is activity done to improve health and/or fitness. This is due to a number of reasons: exercise programs tailored to individuals with significant mobility impairments may be difficult to find, and exercise facilities such as gyms may be inaccessible to certain people living with MS due to geographic, economic, and/or mobility factors. Dr. Knox will lead an interdisciplinary team of physiotherapy specialists, community health providers and people living with MS to address wellness through a web-based physiotherapy program for people with MS with moderate to severe disability. The study will assess the adherence, acceptability and safety of the web-based exercise program in forty-five people living with MS over six-months. The study will also seek to answer questions such as: how much physiotherapist care time does a web-based program require, and; how do participant-reported symptoms, emotional well being, activity levels, and physical function compare over six months between web-based physiotherapy and usual care? A web-based approach may provide wellness benefits for persons with MS by being more widely accessible to persons with disability.

Potential Impact:

By including current health care providers and administrators on the research team, the program, if found to be acceptable and feasible, may be more readily adopted into clinical practice. Overall, this study may help to close a significant gap in access to physical activity for persons with more advanced levels of disability.

Project Status: In Progress

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