Geertz W, Dechow AS, Patra S, Heesen C, Gold SM, Schulz KH.

OBJECTIVES: This study examines the effects of a standardized fitness training on motivational factors such as the intention to be physically active, self-efficacy, perceived barriers, counterstrategies, and exercise specific social support in patients with progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the relation of these factors to physical performance. METHODS: Moderately disabled patients with secondary or primary progressive MS (Expanded Disability Status Scale of 4-6) were randomized to a training group or a waitlist control group. Patients completed on average 20 sessions of training tailored to their individual fitness at baseline over a course of 8-12 weeks. Motivational variables (stage of change according to the transtheoretical model (TTM), self-efficacy, perceived barriers, counterstrategies, and exercise specific social support) were assessed via questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. RESULTS: Forty patients completed the trial. We found significant effects on stages of change (p = .016) and self-efficacy (p = .014) and a trend in counterstrategies (p = .08). Significant correlations between change of physical performance during the exercise training and change in the TTM, perceived barriers, and counterstrategies were detected. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that tailored individual endurance training could stabilize self-efficacy and increase exercise motivation in patients with progressive MS. Motivational variables were related to the physical performance.

Behav Neurol 2015;2015:248193.

Link to Pubmed