‘LEAP-MS’ has been developed by people with MS, physiotherapists and researchers at Cardiff University. The project has been funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK.
The video below explains the project and how we involved people with MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the commonest disabling neurological disease among young adults affecting an estimated 107,000 people in the UK. People with MS, including those with progressive MS, want to keep physically active and moving. However, many people with MS require support to remain physically active and often do not receive any or enough support.
Positive outcomes of regular physical activity include improved mobility, strength and cognition and reduced fatigue. There are also well established psychological and social benefits associated with physical activity in MS.
Engaging in regular physical activity is also considered to be a positive way to cope with living with MS and can provide a sense of purpose.
Despite the multitude of potential benefits of physical activity and the value placed on support for physical activity by people with MS, there remains little evidence about exercise for People with Progressive MS who have more advanced disability.
Most research to date has focussed on patients who are ambulatory, despite the fact that people who are non-ambulatory are least likely to exercise and evidence in support of physiotherapist-led exercise interventions in progressive MS is inconclusive.
Many studies are based on prescribing structured exercise rather than on providing personalised approaches. Furthermore, it does not seem like previous interventions are aimed at equipping people with MS with the skills to progress, select or alter their own programmes.
Physiotherapists have traditionally been viewed as exercise/activity experts however the average neurological physiotherapist is not necessarily an exercise expert. Paradoxically this expert role may also hamper the development of self-management skills and foster reliance on professional expertise.
By upskilling physiotherapists exercise knowledge and support skills to work collaboratively with people living with progressive MS we believe that individual activity plans are more likely to be sustained.
The ambition of LEAP-MS therefore is to create and deliver a model of physical activity that is led by people with MS alongside physiotherapists who take on a unique role as a coach or partner.
‘LEAP-MS’ has been developed by people with MS, physiotherapists and researchers at Cardiff University.
Meet the research team
Professor Monica Busse
Dr Julie Latchem-Hasting
MS Specialist Physiotherapist
Dr Kate Button
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