This survey builds on research work by the MS Research Team, School of Allied Health and the Department of Psychology at the University of Limerick in collaboration with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA and University Hospital Hamburg, Germany and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland. The vision of the research is to understand the factors associated with physical activity so that we can design and evaluate exercise programmes for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
What is the background to this study and what does it hope to achieve?
There are an increasing number of studies that show that exercise has many beneficial effects for people with MS. However, we also know that people with MS are not as physically active as the general population. This survey will collect information regarding the factors that may be associated with physical activity levels among people with MS and therefore to help to inform future exercise programmes for people with MS. This survey will be completed by people with MS in Ireland, Germany, USA, UK and Norway. We will analyse the Irish data at UL, and we will share anonymised data with our international researchers to enable pooling of data and investigation of differences across countries.
What is the procedure involved?
You will be invited to complete an online survey. Completion of this survey will take around 40 minutes so it is important to take the time to fill it in completely. We will ask about your physical activity levels, in addition to other important details, such as mood, your confidence about exercising, how you plan your exercise sessions and set exercise goals for yourself. We are inviting people with MS who “fit into” all levels of physical activity to take part. So you do not have to be a physically active person to take part in this study. All information collected will be anonymous and participants’ records will be saved in password protected, limited access computer files. Access to the study data will be restricted to the researchers involved in the study only. Only anonymised data will be shared with our international partners. Who is being asked to take part? People who are aged over 18 years, with a diagnosis of MS are invited to take part.
What are the benefits of taking part in this study?
There will be no immediate direct benefits to you as a result of participating in this study. However, future benefit includes the possibility of improving physiotherapy intervention for people with MS.
Are there any risks to me by taking part in this study?
There are no material risks, discomforts or side effects anticipated with the proposed study.
What happens to the information?
You will remain anonymous throughout this study. When we present the results, they will be averages and so you will not be able to be identified. We will let the MS Society know what the average results were, and will present them to physiotherapists and at other conferences. We hope to write research papers about the results also.