Online Program

Health education program for persons with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mara Nery, M.S., 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
Alicia Dixon-Ibarra, MS, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Kerri A. Vanderbom, MA, School of Biological & Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
BACKGROUND: Despite the growing evidence that physical activity (PA) can prevent functional decline and improve quality of life, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more sedentary than the general population, and face many barriers to participation. Consequently, there is a need for evidence-based programs that promote the adoption and maintenance of PA participation. Therefore, the purpose was to assess the effectiveness of the “Health Education for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis (HEMS)” program, which is based on social cognitive theory. METHOD: Participants completed the (1) baseline assessment, (2) 8-week (1hr/wk) HEMS program, (3) post assessment, and (4) 8-week follow-up evaluation. The primary outcome was amount of weekly activity (pedometers or activity log), and secondary outcomes included self-efficacy, outcome expectations, social support, and goal achievement. Baseline data has been collected and 5-weeks of the intervention delivered. RESULTS: Eighteen participants (M age 55; 15 females) completed baseline assessment. Participants' reported completing 4,845 steps/day and had moderate self-efficacy (M 6.16/10), moderate to high outcome expectations (M 4.09/5), moderate social support to be active (M 2.99/5), and sometimes set activity goals (M 2.66/5). It is hypothesized that participants will report increases in primary and secondary variables post program and at follow-up when compared to baseline. CONCLUSION: Participants were sedentary at baseline, confirming the low activity levels reported in previous research. This inactivity has been shown to increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. It is critical that health promotion programs provide individuals with the tools to reduce further disability and improve quality of life.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of a health education intervention on increasing physical activity behaviors and social cognitive theory constructs in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion, Disability Studies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently work in the Disabilities Health Promotion Lab at Oregon State University, and co-direct the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Exercise Clinic. I have created the materials for two health promotion programs and delivered a pilot study intervention for individuals with MS. My research interests are increasing physical activity behavior through health education interventions for individuals with MS and acquired disabilities.
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.