257573 Community-Based Participatory Action Research: What do persons with Multiple Sclerosis want in a Health Promotion Invention?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kerri A. Vanderbom, MA , School of Biological & Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Alicia Dixon-Ibarra, BS, MS , Department of Public Health & Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Simon Driver, PhD , School of Biological & Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
BACKGROUND: Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are inactive and in need of quality physical activity (PA) health promotion programs (HHP). Yet, little is known about how to increase PA in the MS population. Qualitative research is a good method when little is known about a phenomenon, in this case the PA HHP needs for those with MS, and community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an important method used to empower individuals throughout the research process. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore PA HP strategies in persons with MS using CBPR. METHODS: Eight adults with MS (7F, 1M) between the ages of 24 and 66 years were included in focus group (FG) discussions. There were 3 FGs with 2-3 participants in each. FGs lasted approximately 45-60 minutes and included open-ended questions exploring PA intervention strategies. RESULTS: Analysis revealed 7 central themes: Expertise, home-based, individual symptoms, in-person, internet-based, social, and time. For interventions, persons with MS want: Experts that know MS, accommodations for individual symptoms, in- person training for accountability and PA guidance, internet-based training for convenience (e.g., transportation, disability, flexibility in meeting times, avoiding weather), social interactions through group classes/conferencing, and time of intervention to be consistent for guidance and flexible to meet fluctuating symptoms. CONCLUSION: Consistent with CBPR, future steps will include collaborating with persons with MS to develop a HHP. A combination of the current results, previous literature, and direction from stakeholders will guide the construction of a specially designed PA HPP for persons with MS.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the use of qualitative research methods to explore physical activity health promotion strategies for persons with MS. Discuss the results of the focus groups, and explain future steps for the construction of a physical activity health promotion intervention for those with MS.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate research assistant who has run an MS exercise class and have assisted with MS research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.