Physical activity and health-related quality of life over time in adults with multiple sclerosis

Robert W. Motl, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This prospective panel study examined the relationship between changes in physical activity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) across a 6-month period in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Method: Adults with a definite diagnosis of MS completed a battery of questionnaires that included the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (Godin & Shephard, 1985) and the 36-item Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36; Ware & Sherbourne, 1992) at baseline (n = 292) and 6-month follow-up (n = 276). The data were analyzed using panel analysis in Mplus 6.0. Results: The panel model represented an acceptable fit for the data (x2 = 140.72, df = 56, standardized root mean square residual = 0.06, comparative fit index = 0.98). The standardized path coefficients were statistically significant between follow-up physical activity and follow-up Physical Function (β = .12, p < .005), Role-Emotional (β = .16, p < .01), Vitality (β = .13, p < .001), and Social Function (β = .12, p < .05). Those who reported a change (increase or decrease) in levels of physical activity over 6 months reported a change (improving or worsening, respectively) in HRQOL on 4 of 8 domains on the SF-36, independent of disability status, MS clinical course and duration, age, and sex. Conclusion: The observed pattern of relationships supports the possibility that changing physical activity through an intervention might yield desirable changes in HRQOL, particularly domains representing the mental component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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