Experiences and attitudes towards lifestyle modifications for the management of multiple sclerosis: A qualitative analysis of free text survey data

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Expect health. 2021 Oct. 2 doi: 10.1111 / hex.13364. Online before printing.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Growing evidence suggests a role for lifestyle changes in improved health outcomes for people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS); However, it lacks the perspective of PmMS making a lifestyle change.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated perspectives of pwMS in relation to the modification of lifestyle-related risk factors in multiple sclerosis (MS) for disease management in order to understand attitudes and experiences of lifestyle modification as part of self-management from the patient’s point of view.

DESIGN: The participants were ≥ 18 years old and English-speaking and answered an open-ended question in the free text of the international online survey on health outcomes and lifestyle in a sample of pwMS (HOLISM). The answers were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.

RESULTS: As part of the lifestyle modification research, topics describing participants’ experiences and attitudes included practical challenges and physical and psychological barriers, enabling change, and experienced outcomes. Although participants reported some practical and psychological challenges in establishing and maintaining lifestyle behaviors, many expressed the ability to gain control of MS by focusing on lifestyle behaviors and the development of hope and optimism associated with this feeling of being Control developed, which sometimes led to a sense of personal transformation.

CONCLUSION: The results highlight the challenges PmMS faces in lifestyle adjustments for disease management, as well as the positive benefits of healthy living. In the future, our results could form the basis for more focused qualitative studies of the experiences and outcomes of lifestyle modifications in MS.

PATIENT CONTRIBUTIONS: Approving pwMS completed a survey that collected data on demographics, clinical progression, lifestyle behavior, and health outcomes.

PMID:34599857 | DOI:10.1111 / hex.13364


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