Exercise and Quality of Life in Women With Multiple Sclerosis

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Peter R. Giacobbi Jr. University of Arizona, USA

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Frederick Dietrich Florida State University, USA

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Rebecca Larson Florida State University, USA

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Lesley J. White University of Georgia, USA

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceptions of quality of life after a 4-month progressive resistance training program for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). A second purpose was to examine participants’ views about factors that facilitated or impeded exercise behavior. Qualitative interviews were conducted with eight females (Mage = 49.86, SD = 6.94) with relapsing remitting MS. Audio-tape recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded. Walking performance improved (M = 13.08%, SD = 7.11). All participants perceived improvements in muscular strength and endurance while six indicated improvements in walking endurance and performance in tasks of daily living. Social benefits of participation were discussed by seven participants including interactions in the exercise environment. We concluded that supervised resistance training may promote improvements in QOL for women with relapsing remitting MS.

Peter R. Giacobbi, Jr. is with the Health Promotion Sciences Division at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Frederick Dietrich is with Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Rebecca Larson and Lesley J. White are with the Kinesiology Department at the University of Georgia in Athens.

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