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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.17

ISSN Print: 0896-2960
ISSN Online: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.2013007713
pages 23-43

The Perceived Influence of a Targeted Group Exercise Program on the Well-Being of Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis: A Qualitative Study

Brittany VanRuymbeke
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Margaret A. Schneider
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common neurological condition affecting young adults in Canada; according to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, in 2013, 3 Canadians are diagnosed daily. Many individuals living with MS experience its debilitating physical symptoms as well as a number of psychological, social, and emotional issues. Although much research has been conducted on the positive effects of physical activity in MS, few qualitative studies have been used to explore this issue in depth. The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of physical activity on the lives of those living with MS and to determine their perception of their overall well-being with a focus on physical, emotional, and social determinants of health. These women identified that being in a group atmosphere and having a competent and motivating program facilitator are key aspects of any exercise program. Likewise, the idea that everyday activities and tasks can be used as a means of physical activity also was mentioned by many participants. As this body of literature continues to grow, patients will have greater access to the stories of others and be able to learn strategies that have been helpful to others in the past. It is expected that in time this information may assist in improving the lives of both men and women who are living with this condition.


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