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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2014, Article ID 109142, 8 pages
Clinical Study

The Effect of Community Exercise Interventions for People with MS Who Use Bilateral Support for Gait

1Clinical Therapies Department, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
2Multiple Sclerosis Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Received 28 June 2013; Revised 25 September 2013; Accepted 2 October 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: Bruno Brochet

Copyright © 2014 Neasa Hogan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Mobility limitations are a key feature of MS and 25% will require the use of a walking aid 15 years after diagnosis. Few studies have specifically evaluated the effectiveness of physiotherapy and exercise interventions delivered in the community for those with significant disability. Methods. An assessor blind, block randomised, and controlled study recruited participants who required bilateral assistance for gait and who occasionally used wheelchairs for longer distances. They were randomised to 10 weeks of group physiotherapy (balance and strengthening exercises), individual physiotherapy, yoga group, or a control group. Results. Repeated measures ANOVA found significant time effects for physical component of MSIS-29v2 ( , ) and MFIS ( , ). The group × time interaction was significant for the BBS ( , ). Post hoc analysis revealed no difference between group and individual physiotherapy for BBS. There was no significant difference between groups but the 6MWT improved for individual physiotherapy ( ) and MSIS-29v2 psychological score for group physiotherapy ( ). Discussion. This study found that balance and strengthening exercises, delivered in the community to those with significant mobility limitations, improve balance. The effect on walking endurance and patient-reported outcomes are unclear and warrants further investigation with a larger control group with similar baseline characteristics to the intervention groups.