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PAMS (Physical Activity and Multiple Sclerosis) Study

Despite common knowledge that regular physical activity is good for you, actually participating and adhering to physical activity in a community setting can be a challenge. This may be especially true for individuals living with MS, who have to overcome numerous barriers on a daily basis such as disease symptoms, transportation issues and fatigue. Recently, new physical activity guidelines for people with MS were released. Prior to the release of the guidelines, prescribing exercise for individuals with MS was difficult since the optimal dose of physical activity for this population was unknown. It is now important to determine how best to implement the new physical activity guidelines within the community and determine if following the guidelines results in the expected improvements in fitness and function. This proposed study will evaluate 2 models of implementation: i) direct referral to a community based exercise program by a health care professional or ii) recommendations for self-managed physical activity by a health care professional. Adherence to the physical activity guidelines will be monitored for a 16-wk period through weekly physical activity logs. In addition, to test the validity of the new guidelines in a community setting, changes in physical fitness, blood markers for cardiometabolic disease risk, quality of life, fatigue symptoms and mobility will be assessed after the 16-wk period. The results from this study will provide important information regarding effective physical activity prescription for adults living with MS, with the goal of improving physical activity participation rates among this population.

For more information about the study or to become a participant in this trial, please contact Karissa Canning canninkl@mcmaster.ca

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