Home-based, square-stepping exercise program among older adults with multiple sclerosis: results of a feasibility randomized controlled study

Emerson Sebastião, Edward McAuley, Ryosuke Shigematsu, Brynn C. Adamson, Rachel E. Bollaert, Robert W. Motl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is very little known about exercise rehabilitation approaches for older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS), yet this growing segment of the MS population experiences declines in cognition and mobility associated with disease progression and aging. We conducted a RCT examining the feasibility of a 12-week, home-based Square-Stepping Exercise (SSE) program in older adults with MS. Older adults with MS (N = 26) with mild-to-moderate levels of disability were recruited and randomized into the intervention (i.e., SSE) or a minimal activity, attention-control conditions. Participants in the SSE condition received a mat for home-based practice of the step patterns, an instruction manual, and a logbook along with a pedometer for monitoring compliance. Both conditions received weekly Skype™ calls and had biweekly meetings with an exercise trainer. Feasibility was assessed based on process, resource, management and scientific outcomes. Regarding scientific outcomes, participants in both conditions completed in-lab assessments before and after the 12-week period. Twenty-five participants completed the study (96%) and the total cost of the study was $13,387.00 USD. Pedometer data demonstrated good compliance with the SSE intervention condition. Effect sizes calculated for all treatment outcomes ranged from small-to-moderate for both mobility and cognitive variables between the intervention and attention-control conditions, thereby providing preliminary evidence that participation in the SSE program may improve cognition and mobility function. The results support the feasibility, acceptability, and possible efficacy of a home-based SSE intervention for older adults with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

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Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Mobility
  • Neurological disease
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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