Association between change in physical activity and short-term disability progression in multiple sclerosis
Robert W. Motl, Edward McAuley
Objective: This study examined change in physical activity as a behavioral correlate of short-term disability progression in persons with multiple sclerosis over a 6-month period.
Design: Panel design.
Subjects: The sample included 292 persons with multiple sclerosis.
Methods: Participants wore an accelerometer for 7 days as a measure of physical activity and then provided demographics and clinical information and completed the Patient Determined Disease Steps scale as a measure of disability. After a 6-month period, participants provided information about the occurrence of a relapse in the previous 6 months and again wore an accelerometer for 7 days and completed the Patient Determined Disease Steps scale.
Results: Panel analysis indicated associations between baseline physical activity and disability (path coefficient = −0.41, p < 0.001) and 6-month change in physical activity and disability progression (path coefficient = −0.09, p = 0.025).
Conclusion: Such findings provide preliminary support for a reduction in physical activity as a behavioral correlate, but not necessarily cause, of short-term disability progression in persons with multiple sclerosis.
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