Elizabeth A. Vanner, M.S., Pamela Block, Ph.D., Christopher C. Christodoulou, Ph.D., Beverly P. Horowitz, Ph.D., Lauren B. Krupp, M.D.
We sought to assess how impairment (physiological/psychological) and disability (social/environmental) are associated with physical and leisure/recreation activity levels and quality of life (QOL) in people with moderate/severe multiple sclerosis (MS). We conducted a cross-sectional survey at the MS Comprehensive Care Center, Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, NY, of a convenience sample of 43 people (50 eligible) with MS and Expanded Disability Status Scale scores of 6.0 to 8.0. The main outcome measures were QOL measured by MSQOL-54, physical activity measured by Physical Activity Disability Scale, and leisure/recreation activity measured by Nottingham Leisure Questionnaire. We analyzed the canonical correlations among physical and leisure/recreation activity levels and (1) impairment and (2) QOL.
Higher levels of physical and leisure/recreation activity were associated with lower levels of apathy and depression and higher levels of cognition, self-efficacy, and QOL (physical and mental). Major barriers reported included fatigue, lack of motivation, and cost.
Impairments and social/environmental disabilities create barriers to physical and leisure/recreation activity. Additional research is needed to determine, for people with MS, what supports might increase participation in physical and leisure/recreation activities and whether this increase yields improved QOL.