Using health promotion guidelines for persons with disabilities to develop and evaluate a physical activity program for individuals with multiple sclerosis: A feasibility study.
Simon Driver Ph.D.
Dixon-Ibarra, A., M. Nery-Hurwit, S. Driver and M. MacDonald (2017). “Using health promotion guidelines for persons with disabilities to develop and evaluate a physical activity program for individuals with multiple sclerosis: A feasibility study.” Eval Program Plann 61: 150-159.
The Health Education for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis (HEMS) program was developed in response to the need for interventions aimed at increasing physical activity for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It was developed and evaluated using Drum and colleagues (2009) guidelines for implementing health promotion programs for individuals with disabilities. The purpose of this feasibility study is to describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of the HEMS program. Thirteen individuals with MS completed the 8-week health education program. A mixed method approach for evaluation was implemented (i.e., survey and focus groups). Process and resource feasibility demonstrated that over half of the participants attended at least 80% of the weekly sessions. Focus group data provided valuable feedback for future iterations of the program including critiques on the delivery, content, and group support provided. Outcome evaluation showed increases in self-efficacy (survey), improvements in theoretical constructs (focus groups), and increased physical activity (focus groups). Results show that health promotion programs for persons with MS can improve physical activity and related constructs. Next steps will be to revise, implement, and reevaluate the HEMS program in a larger randomized control trial.