Well-being and disease severity of multiple sclerosis patients following a physical activity program

Luísa Pedro, José Pais-Ribeiro, João Páscoa Pinheiro


Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system that mainly affects young adults, promoting a great impact on functionality. Fatigue is a very common symptom, associated with multiple impairments in sensitivity, muscle activity, neuromotor control, balance, cognition and problem-solving ability. MS leads to strong functional restrictions, particularly in the context of daily living activities, as well as in patient participation. Objective: To understand the implications of a self-regulation program in the perception of well-being and mental health in MS patients. Methods: A set of exercises was implemented for use in daily activities, supported by different studies with MS patients. Patients were asked to classify the severity of their disease and to use the Mental Health Inventory (MHI-38), at the beginning (time A) and at the end (time B) of the self-regulation program. We used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25. A non-parametric statistical hypothesis test (Wilcoxon test) was used to analyze the variables. Results: The mean age was 44 years old, with patients between the ages of 20 and 58. 58.3% were women, 37.5% were currently married, 67% were retired and the mean level of education was 12.5 years. The correlation between the perception of disease severity and psychological well-being before the self-regulation program (r = 0.26, p < 0.05) and after the intervention (r = 0.37, p < 0.01) suggests a low to moderate correlation. Conclusion: The implementation of the self-regulatory model, through the promotion of physical activity in patients with MS, had a positive impact of clinical rehabilitation, well-being, and perception of disease severity of these people.


Multiple sclerosis. Self-regulation. Physical activity.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/fm.2021.34104


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