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Emma V. Richardson, Brett Smith and Anthony Papathomas

Using a dialogical narrative approach, we explored how disabled people made sense of their gym experiences as part of a peer group. Interviews were conducted with 18 disabled people (10 men and 8 women, aged 23–60) who had experience exercising in the gym as part of a group. Data were rigorously analyzed using a dialogical narrative analysis. Within their peer group, participants crafted a collective story that they used to resist disablism in the gym. The dialogical components of the collective story functioned to (a) validate participants’ experiences of oppression in the gym, (b) forge an unspoken understanding with peers, (c) craft a more affirmative identity, and (d) instill a sense of empowerment in participants so that they can tell their own story. This study extends knowledge in the field of exercise and disability by showing that despite the oppression disabled people experienced in the gym, they can create a collective story, which is useful for helping to promote and sustain exercise in this space.

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Emma V. Richardson, Sarah Blaylock, Elizabeth Barstow, Matthew Fifolt and Robert W. Motl

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.