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Background: Exercise programmes that can demonstrate evidence of long-lasting clinical effectiveness are needed forpeople with multiple sclerosis (PwMS).Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the effects of a practically implemented exercise programme onself-directed exercise behaviour and important health outcomes in PwMS to nine months of follow-up.Methods: We conducted a parallel-arm, randomised controlled trial: 120 PwMS (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 1.0-6.5) randomised to a three-month exercise intervention plus usual care, or usual care only. Two supervised plus one homeexercisesession (weeks 1-6) were followed by one supervised and two home-exercise sessions (weeks 7-12). Cognitivebehaviouraltechniques promoted long-term exercise behaviour change. Outcomes were blindly assessed at baseline and atthree and nine months after randomisation. The primary outcome was self-reported exercise behaviour (Godin Leisure TimeExercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ)). Secondary outcomes included fatigue and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).Results: The intervention increased self-reported exercise (9.6 points; 95% CI: 2.0 to 17.3 points; p = 0.01) andimproved fatigue (p<0.0001) and many HRQoL domains (p≤0.03) at three months. The improvements in emotionalwell-being (p = 0.01), social function (p = 0.004) and overall quality of life (p = 0.001) were sustained for nine months.Conclusion: This pragmatic approach to implementing exercise increases self-reported exercise behaviour, improvesfatigue and leads to a sustained enhancement of HRQoL domains in PwMS. © The Author(s) 2013.

Original publication




Journal article


Multiple Sclerosis Journal

Publication Date





1112 - 1122