Fewer than 20% of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) engage in enough exercise to manage MS symptoms and improve function. To address this problem, the authors developed a conceptual model to promote exercise among persons with MS through the patient–provider interaction within health care settings. The current qualitative study evaluated and refined the conceptual model based on 32 semistructured interviews involving persons with MS. The data were subject to inductive, semantic thematic analysis. Participants highlighted that the conceptual model was a necessary addition to current MS care and noted multiple strengths regarding its design (e.g., structure) and content (e.g., patient–provider interaction). Furthermore participants noted areas of the conceptual model that could be improved (e.g., less focus on neurologists as exercise promoters). This comprehensive evaluation yielded a refined conceptual model for exercise promotion in MS through the patient–provider interaction.
Richardson, Blaylock, and Motl are with the Dept. of Physical Therapy; Barstow, the Dept. of Occupational Therapy; and Fifolt, the Dept. of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.